Bailey is a senior on the UGA Equestrian Team. She is currently majoring in Biochemical Engineering had the opportunity to participate in an internship with Central Life Sciences in Dallas, Texas during the summer of 2017.
We have all heard the phrase, “practice makes perfect,” and that is no different in our athletic or professional careers. Any area of discipline we are trying to improve, perfect or master takes a lot of practice and repetition.
I’ve been riding horses my entire life and have always found joy and reward in repetition. There is something about going to the barn, and in some sense “tune out” the rest of the world and work on a particular skill over and over. The horse requires repetition to be trained. The rider requires repetition to perfect maneuvers and body position. But eventually, both horse and rider perfect a skill and it is so rewarding.
This past summer, I initially did not intend to do an internship again, as I had completed an internship in the summer of 2016 with Central Life Sciences in Dallas, TX. However, they contacted me as soon as they heard I was available and asked me to return. I happily returned to the engineering department and settled in again as a chemical engineering intern.
Some things were the same as the prior year, providing a comfortable familiarity. It was great to walk into the manufacturing plant and associated laboratories and see familiar faces, know where I was going and have a little sense of knowing what I was doing. However, some things were quite different and the expectations were higher of the “returning intern”. A big difference was the increase in responsibility. Compared to my first summer where I worked closely with my boss, this summer I was given projects and given full rein on where I wanted to take them and how I wanted to accomplish them. Although quite nerve-racking to be on my own, it was a great experience to learn more independence in the work place and manage my own time.
Along with management of projects I also learned SolidWorks, a CAD software, met with outside vendors, and began the process of implementing a new piece of technology to shorten testing time of active ingredients within the product line and provide more comprehensive analytics. My main project for the summer was working on moving a new product from the development stage to a finished product. I got to conduct small scale trials in the lab and then move to large scale trials in equipment on the production line. This was a rewarding experience seeing a product go from development to a finished product.
In my athletic career at University of Georgia, I have learned that practice and repetition create a greater opportunity for success. Beyond the obvious similarities between athletics and a career, such as teamwork and time management, the less discernable skill of repetition was a valuable learning experience for me this summer. In fact, I may have the opportunity to start my career upon graduation with Central Life Sciences, and for that I would be eternally grateful for this internship experience and my involvement in UGA Athletics.