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It's Intern season here at Holland! We're welcoming some fresh faces around our Crete and University Park facilities. Meet Matthew Blackmer who is spending the summer working with our Welding Technology team. We interviewed Matthew to tell us a little more about his day to day activities and what brought him to Holland. 

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My home is about 2 hours northwest of University Park, near Rockford, IL. However, this summer I am temporarily staying with a friend in Kankakee, IL. In the Fall I will be returning to Olivet Nazarene University to complete my fourth and final year of undergraduate studies. I will plan to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a Mechanical concentration, and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics degrees.

In my time outside of work and school, I can be found in a garage or hangar of some kind working on motorcycles, airplanes, or any other machine which needs tended to. When I am not in a shop, I greatly enjoy being outside doing all kinds of activities. From riding a bike to fishing, working out, or going on group rides, there is always something to do which can be both entertaining, plain fun, or productive to do!

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  • Why did you choose Holland to apply for an internship?

One of my friends recommended this opportunity to me and spoke quite highly of their experience at Holland. I began to do some further research and thinking about what kinds of skills and work experience I valued. Being able to work in an Engineering department without sitting down all day, open communication with shop personell to provide useful details on future designs, and a community where people help one another for the greater good I found to be the highest items on my list. On a similar note, Holland’s goals and character as a company was something which intrigued me from the beginning. Namely, treating others like family, respecting them, sharing partnership and integrity, and lastly, being open to and showing improvement over time. From my experiences thus far, this company does well at internalizing these values, and the people within do just the same. I am beyond honored and grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate with this group of people for even just a short time!

  • Walk us through an average day of your internship.

I wake up around 5:50 to give myself some moments to wake up, then I gear up around 6:20 and ride to work where I arrive between 6:45 and 7:00. After I arrive, I am pretty good at finding ways to busy myself with my design project working on parts, drawings, or the likewise. It is not uncommon to be given spontaneous tasks throughout the day, such as, making a couple of additional parts or drawings, taking dimensions on parts to check their validity in the system, or improve a feature or two on a useful, shop-made tool.

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Around 12:00 is when I usually have some type of lunch. Ever since I was a kid and my mom made my lunches, not hardly a thing has changed in 15 years. I still make my lunches the same way because they’re cheap, healthy, and best of all: they taste good! After lunch is when I’ll begin wrapping up on daily projects or goals, I get to a point where I can easily pickup and begin the next morning. Lastly, around 3:30 I’ll be finalizing thoughts in sticky notes and begin to gear up for heading home. The best part about the summer is getting done with work and riding home in midday, warm weather that has a good breeze and some sunlight.

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