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Tom, Mentor

R&D Manager for Zirconia Projects

“I would definitely encourage you to consider an internship at Glidewell Laboratories. I don’t think that you’ll find another internship anywhere in the region where you will learn more, especially in a common sense, practical, real-world environment. This is way different than a university. You’ll actually be on your own project. I’ll expect you to watch the costs and efficiency of your work. Also, I would say be prepared to come and work hard. But, finally, and definitely not least important, be prepared to have fun because what my goal is, is to strike the balance between all three: I want to learn from you, I want you to learn from me, and I want us to have a very good time, while actually being productive.

“I was able to meet a lot of really good interns this past summer, like Nancy, and I was able to develop that network and actually put her on a real project to help the team and make progress in all the research that we’re doing to help improve the field of dentistry.

“I thought the internship was very unique because the interns really did work on main projects with myself and my engineers — some of the most important projects in the company. You know, everyone has that stereotype of interns making coffee or running around routing documents and things of that nature, but that’s definitely not how the internships work in Research & Development. I actually view the interns as if they were real engineers. So they have their own projects, they have their own responsibilities, and I’m expecting them to make progress, just as I would an actual engineer who’s already graduated.

“I personally have been out of school for the past eight years, and there are a lot of things that you tend to forget if you don’t use the knowledge that you’ve learned in school on a day-to-day basis. So one of the things that I really hope the interns can offer is to be able to bring that fresh mind and fresh perspective into the group and offer maybe a different approach to solving some of the technical challenges that we face.”

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