Chemistry and Biochemistry

BYU Chemistry Capstone Project: On-Campus Internships

Posted: Oct 17, 2016

At Brigham Young University we strive to ensure that our students receive the best and most state-of-the-art education possible.  In order to succeed in industrial careers, students need to understand how their skills fit into a team effort that uses chemistry to solve commercially valuable problems.  Internships at companies are a great way to learn these skills, but these experiences can be difficult to integrate into a program of study.  "Our solution is that instead of sending an intern to your office, we assemble teams of bright eager students who work on our campus.  These on-campus interns tackle the back-burner projects you would love to do, but that don’t fit your current schedules or resources," says Dr. JC Price. The goal of the Capstone Program is to reduce the activation barrier for an internship for both the industry sponsor and the student.   

At the recent Career Fair, a series of global companies like 3M, Koch Industries, and Sterigenics International all said that 100% of the good interns will get offers to stay permanently.  Unfortunately, only 4 out of our 450 chemistry majors served internships last year.  "Internships can be difficult to find and often require you uproot your family and move for the summer.  Through the capstone program we are facilitating on-campus internships.  We want our students to see that there are jobs out there waiting for a qualified chemistry or biochemistry graduate, and we want these companies to experience first hand the remarkably high quality of students available here at BYU," says Dr. JC Price.

On-campus internships are available through the Chemistry Capstone Project. To participate, enroll in CHEM 496R. .  The Capstone class will be divided into multiple teams, composed of 4-5 students and a TA.  Each team will tackle a real world problem, proposed by a company that is looking for talented chemists.  The BYU Chemistry and Biochemistry Department has sponsors in the healthcare, chemistry, and personal care products industries proposing projects. Even if students don't end up working at these companies, they have a important view into one of the roles of an industrial chemist.  They make important networking contacts with people who can point them towards other job opportunities, and the have relevant work experience for their resume. To learn more, contact the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, C-100 BNSN.

Photo Credit: James Collard

Writer: Taelin Wilford