Under the Lab Coat with Faith Mierzejewski
Educational & Work Background:
Faith is going into her senior year at UConn in Storrs, majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring in Material Science Engineering as well as Molecular and Cell Biology. She chose this field because she comes from a family of engineers, and has always loved chemistry. In high school, Faith worked at the restaurant Maggie McFly’s, as a hostess, busser and food runner. This is her third summer interning at Hubbard-Hall and has also worked the two winter sessions in between.
Interests & Hobbies:
“In general, I have found that a lot of people will underestimate me. I like to go against stereotypes.” For instance, she enjoys learning new things such as carpentry or working on cars. For the most part she loves to spend a lot of time outside and also really enjoys cooking and spending time with her nieces and nephew as well.
Your current title:
“I suppose my official title is Lab Intern but Bob likes to call me ‘College Student’ or more recently ‘Grasshopper’.”
What do your job duties involve?
Faith’s main job duties include performing the quality control analysis of all the batches that come out of manufacturing (making sure they meet a certain set of specs before giving the okay and allowing it to be shipped out). Faith has also been assigned several other tasks during her internships like reorganizing the lab her first summer, “They jokingly believe I’m slightly OCD which they’ve taken full advantage of since I’ve started.” If the lab techs are curious about a project like a potential testing method or side by side cleaner comparison, they will have Faith work on it. Faith said, “It’s like having an extra set of capable hands to work on the projects they normally wouldn’t have time to do.” Additionally, Faith has spent a lot of time on Excel either creating job tracking lists that automatically calculate and update monthly key performance indicators for product lines or just generally working with large data for reports and presentations.
What do you like most about your job?
“I really enjoy that it never feels like I’m doing the same thing every day, all day. I’m so glad that I get to work on a multitude of projects that cover both the lab side as well as the business side. It’s great to be able to see the ‘whole picture’ of the company. It is interesting to me to see how our products are used in the companies and how we contribute to the finished goods industry. For example, I enjoy when we receive gun parts to either blacken or clean. I get to see and understand some of the chemistry that went behind making the gun as well as enjoying a fun hobby with my sister at the shooting range. I also love all of the people here, I always enjoy working here more than going to school. I have learned a lot of useful things while on the job, with hands-on projects. It’s not just a job; it’s the start of my career.”
What is a recent challenging problem that you helped solve for a customer and how did you solve it?
Faith explained that she does not usually work on direct customer problems in the traditional sense. “I have learned that customers are not just the companies that buy our products, it’s anyone for whom we offer our service to, and that includes the people we work with. I try to help out with as many things as efficiently possible hence why I have no clear cut job description.”