seal  Purdue News

February 13, 2004

Purdue interns stand ready to boost summer productivity

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's Technical Assistance Program is ready to link employers with as many as 100 Purdue interns.

Kevin Jant
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Employers can initiate the recruiting process by registering on the program's Web site. After registering, employers will receive resumes from qualified students. Purdue staff will assist in scheduling students for interviews through Thursday, April 15.

Interns will be available for work at the conclusion of the spring semester on Monday, May 10, and can work through Friday, Aug. 20. Students and employers negotiate salaries.

Since the pool of available students shrinks as the semester progresses, Technical Assistance Program director Dave McKinnis recommends employers contact his staff as soon as possible.

"Our program helps Indiana businesses, manufacturers and municipalities find well-qualified short-term staff without spending excessive time in the recruiting and hiring process," McKinnis said. "However, there is a finite number of students available. The sooner employers begin interviewing, the better the chance they will find a top-notch candidate for each position."

Patricia Wiyono, at right, with FieFie Jin
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Because of their diverse backgrounds, students can help in areas such as product development, computer-aided design, Web site development, plant layout, software selection, construction inspection and surveying, computer programming, and production process improvement.

"Interns not only provide additional help during the summer, but often provide new insights into company processes that can result in significant improvements," McKinnis said. "Many employers also find prospective full-time employees through the summer intern program."

Last summer, Patricia Wiyono, a sophomore in the Krannert School of Management, created a business directory for Fanger Communications in Indianapolis.

"Patty was essential in moving our main database project ahead of schedule," said Robert Fanger, president of Fanger Communications. "She helped build a database that exceeds over 75,000 members of a target market. Without her assistance, this number would have undoubtedly been much lower."

Wiyono said, "As an intern, sometimes the most valuable qualities you can bring to a company are your availability, your willingness to do whatever needs to be done and your ability to solve problems."

Kevin Jant, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, served as a lead engineer for ambulance manufacturer McCoy Miller in Elkhart, Ind. His projects included an analysis of the company's bill of materials and the redesign of fiberglass van caps for ambulances.

James Keough, engineering manager at McCoy Miller, said he would recommend Purdue interns to any employer looking to improve their operations.

"Purdue student interns have a strong problem-solving background that allows them to contribute to the organization immediately," Keough said. "The employer obligation is to present them with a clear challenge, and the intern provides a different perspective to the challenge."

The intern program also provides access to Purdue's faculty expertise for both students and employers.

Since 1988, 810 undergraduate and graduate engineering, technology and management students have worked for approximately 500 Hoosier employers through the summer intern program.

In addition to providing interns, the Technical Assistance Program provides Indiana businesses with year-round technical assistance and information. For more than 15 years, TAP has enabled more than 4,000 Indiana businesses, industries and government organizations to implement new and advanced technologies to boost the state's economy.

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704,

Source: Dave McKinnis, (765) 494-6258,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Kevin Jant, a Purdue University mechanical engineering major, served as an intern last summer for ambulance manufacturer McCoy Miller of Elkhart, Ind. Jant analyzed the company's bill of materials and redesigned fiberglass van caps for ambulances. (Division of Instructional Services photo/John Underwood.)

A publication-quality photo is available at

Patricia Wiyono, at right, a Purdue University management major, is pictured with FieFie Jin. Wiyono served with Jin as an intern at Fanger Communications in Indianapolis. While at Fanger Communications, Wiyono helped to build a database that listed more than 75,000 members of a target market. (Division of Instructional Services photo/John Underwood.)

A publication-quality photo is available at

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