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32 PCB007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2020 Kyle Hillstead, Process Engineer Two summer internships (6 months) and 7 months as full-time Had you worked in a different industry prior? My goal throughout my undergrad education was to gain working experience in three sec- tors that environmental engineers can make ca- reers in: consulting, research, and manufactur- ing. Prior to moving into the electronics man- ufacturing industry, I had internships in the consulting and research industries. My first in- ternship was with a civil engineering and wet- lands management consulting firm. My second internship was with the Western Upper Penin- sula Health Department, where I was the Sur- face Water Quality Technician. Was electronics manufacturing something you sought out? I wanted to gain experience in the manufac- turing sector to be well-rounded and learn if I was interested in that field. I wasn't directly singling out the electronics industry. With Ca- reer Fair at Michigan Tech, I researched sever- al manufacturers and stumbled upon Calumet Electronics. At the time, I had no idea an indus- try like this was in the Keweenaw (Peninsula). Do you see a career path in this industry? I definitely do see a career path for me or else I wouldn't have invested myself as heavily into the industry. Currently, I'm a process en- gineer for our metallization and copper plating prove our process control. In addition, I've re- alized that a significant part of a college degree is the thought processes, troubleshooting, and work ethics that you learn in addition to the actual content, all of which are a daily part of my job. What advice would you give to a fabricator on recruiting and hiring young talent? I would start with emphasizing how the products we make help people in their dai- ly lives and that these boards do make a sig- nificant difference. I also think that emphasis on the introductory and ongoing learning pro- cess is vital since the whole process of build- ing electronic products can be very complicat- ed and potentially overwhelming to someone just entering the industry. processes. I'm still quite new to this position but have been immersing myself every day on the manufacturing floor and utilizing the knowledge my senior process engineers have to grow. As our company expands, I will con- tinue my personal growth and aim to be a lead process engineer and mentor to young engi- neers. I covet the opportunity to help advance this company forward and excite young engi- neers into the PCB industry. What attracted you to the printed circuit board fabrication industry? My experiences during my internships at Cal- umet Electronics sealed my fate in the indus- try. I thoroughly enjoy the fluidity of my work.

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