This past summer Cerahelix had two interns: Cal Hamilton and Lydia MacKay. Cal worked in the lab as a technician, and Lydia produced marketing content and did administrative work. Both of them worked for Cerahelix prior to this summer. Cal spent his gap year working for Cerahelix after he graduated from Orono High School in 2014. Lydia did administrative work for Cerahelix during the summers when she was in high school; she graduated from John Bapst Memorial High School in 2015. They both came back to work for Cerahelix while home from college this summer.
Cal is currently studying snow mechanics at Montana State University. He says that his work at Cerahelix has helped him learn what it is really like to work in a lab and do research and development. Lydia is pursuing a liberal arts degree at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Working at Cerahelix has given her an opportunity to learn a lot about marketing strategies and the day-to-day work of running a startup. She also got a chance to practice different types of writing and polish her web design skills.
A typical day for Cal involved routine testing and qualifying ceramic filters using bubble point and gas permeance methods. He also collected filtration standard samples (PEG, or polyethylene glycol mixtures) that he would run on the HPLC and record the data in the company database. He would run the same test each day and at the end of the day he would load more tubes in to the system for testing the next day.
Other aspects of his job would change week to week, which was one of his favorite parts of working at Cerahelix. One week he might be doing a lot of gas permeance testing, another week he would run the zetasizer, and the next he might be making little pieces of the tubes so pictures could be taken of them using scanning electron microscopy.
He really liked working at a small startup business. Said Cal: “You really get to know the people you are working with. Also, because everyone does such a variety of jobs at a startup, the job is really educational. I learned a lot. I also thinks that it is really cool that there is this company creating this cutting edge technology in Orono, Maine, where I grew up. I really liked being a part of the company.”
Lydia’s summer was spent more on the business side. She researched and wrote blogs (including this one!), she wrote press releases, and she designed flyers. She also updated parts of the website, tweeted, and helped out with marketing and general administrative tasks.
She grew up in Veazie, Maine and also thinks it is cool that there is a company doing this cutting edge technology in Orono, Maine. She especially appreciates the cleantech aspect of what the company does.
Both Lydia and Cal have returned to college for their sophomore years- Lydia to Wellesley and Cal to Montana State. Cerahelix feels fortunate to have had amazing interns year in and year out!