Intern Spotlight: Learning By Doing in the Lab
Realizing the opportunity surrounding her in Dalton, GA, Karlie Henson, a Senior at Dalton State College chose to study something she’d always had interest in – chemistry. A General Chemistry major, Karlie paired her job search with her need for an internship to gain experience at First Source Worldwide, LLC in their Dalton, GA Textile, Carpet & Rug Laboratory.
First Source Worldwide attracted Karlie because of the early responsibility and one-on-one training she would receive with lab staff. Working alongside of the Technical Lab Supervisor, Karlie got to see hands-on what it takes to support the area’s textile, carpet, and rug businesses. “My eyes have opened to all the industry around Dalton. I didn’t realize how intertwined companies can be when working together,” she reflected.
Interconnected in the community and connected in the facility. She explained how she also enjoys the work environment of the Dalton facility. “The people are great here, it’s an awesome environment. My Supervisor is willing to teach me anything I’m curious about. He is understanding as I learn and grow,” says Karlie.
Along with the daily responsibility of prepping lab projects, testing samples in quality control, and obtaining spectrophotometer data, she’s also been able to learn additional skills. She’s gained experience in areas she didn’t expect, like important industry trades such as color matching and formulating. One of her favorite projects put these skills to the test when a dye wasn’t dyeing as expected. “After all our tests, we figured out it linked to a fault in the material we used for dyeing instead of our formulations,” Karlie said. “It was a great example to me of how important fabric treatment is before you start the dye process.”
The organization and flow of the workday helped her in school. “I’m better understanding the importance of accuracy and consistency in my work,” she said while speaking about her lab notes and time management in and out of classes. With her busy schedule, she appreciates the flexibility of her work hours as she manages multiple commitments. “FSW’s willingness to work around my schedule was a big factor when I decided to work with them,” she said.
With a year left of school, Karlie hasn’t crossed out any opportunity quite yet, “Wherever opportunity takes me!” She exclaimed, after asking what her post-graduation plans were. Regardless, she plans to stick to chemistry and may pursue a Master’s degree. With Dalton being a national hotspot for the carpet industry, she may not have to look too far to keep living out her passions.
Do you envision yourself in this position? Gain similar experience and explore our internship opportunities to advance your career.