Recently, our very own Emerging Leaders Intern, Jessica Thomulka was awarded an Experiential Education Student Award from Seton Hall University.
We were able to catch up with her to ask her a few questions.
Get to know Jessica by reading our interview with her below:
1. Jessica, we were so pleased to welcome you back for your second time as an Intern here at MILSPRAY™, what new updates do you have for us regarding your collegiate life?
I will be graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry & Philosophy with a Minor in Legal Studies in Business later this month. Also, I will be given a certificate in the University Honors Program.
I am a Member of Phi Sigma Tau (Philosophy Honor Society) and was newly inducted into the Legal Studies Honor Society at Seton Hall. Just recently, I received the Experiential Education Award for my work at MILSPRAY Military Technologies™ to represent the College of Arts and Science. (Honored as 1 of 12 awardees recognized)
2. Please tell us why you wanted to return to MILSPRAY™ for a second term as an Intern?
Because I had so much fun over the summer! Most students prefer to work multiple internships, but I wanted to continue with MILSPRAY™ so I could build on my skills that I learned in my first internship. Since chemistry is a skills-based discipline I wanted to hone my lab skills in polymer development and testing. I love the work environment in Research & Development and I was excited to be invited back.
3. The last time you were here you provided assistance with polymer formulation, preparation, testing, processing documents derived from testing, and assisting in the interpretation of test results. You were also responsible for migrating Material Safety Data Sheets to OSHA, in order to ensure the safety of MILSPRAY™ employees and customers. This time around what have you been working on?
I find myself spending more time in the lab focusing on the development of some of the polymer systems we are working on. With more experience, I have a higher understanding of the processes behind the chemical reactions taking place and an increased ability to interpret results. Matthew has given me independence in working on a project and I have learned to manage my time and organize my data in an efficient manner.
4. What is one of your favorite things about being one of our Emerging Leaders Intern here at MILSPRAY Military Technologies™?
At MILSPRAY™, I do not feel like an intern. I have been given responsibility in completing my tasks and the work I do directly impacts the ongoing projects within R&D.
5. What advice would you want to give to other students looking to apply to MILSPRAY™ for an internship?
There is a strong sense of teamwork and collaboration within MILSPRAY™. My internship at MILSPRAY™ has been a nice complement to my education because it has allowed me to translate what I learned in the classroom into a hands-on environment. Students who are eager to learn and willing to get involved in a variety of projects should apply.
6. Do you have any mentors here at the organization?
Everyone within the R&D department has lent a helping hand over the past year. I have worked closely with Jack and Tom in the lab and Matthew has provided guidance as I completed my projects. I am thankful for their patience and willingness to pass on their knowledge and skills to me.
Additionally, Natalie from the Marketing department has been extremely helpful in passing on her social media strategies and career advice specifically with LinkedIn and networking.
7. If so, what is one of the best pieces of advice you were ever given during your internship at MILSPRAY™?
The best piece of advice I received was to learn something new every day. An internship is an educational tool and it has two dimensions: I contribute to the organization and in turn I learn all about the business as it relates to chemistry and in all of its aspects. I enjoyed poking my head in offices other than R&D to learn a little bit about every department at MILSPRAY™. Over the past year, I have learned a tremendous amount of chemistry but also how a business functions.
Random Tidbits about Jessica
1. If you had to be named after a city, state, or country (etc.), which would you want it to be and why?
Over the past four years at Seton Hall I have spent countless hours in New York City with my friends so I would want to be named after the neighborhood, Chelsea, in Manhattan. It is a beautiful area and the memories I have made with my friends are invaluable.
2. Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus?
Thesaurus! I am always looking for ways to expand my vocabulary, but that may be the philosopher in me.
3. What was the most memorable class you had ever taken?
Moral Argumentation Debate. I had the opportunity to take this course which had an extracurricular commitment associated with it. I competed with my team at the Ethics Bowl at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut and we won all three matches. I had never participated in an academic debate and I gained public speaking experience which had been extremely beneficial.
4. If you had to be trapped in a TV Show for a month, which would you choose and why?
I would choose the West Wing because I would love to work in the White House at some point in my life.