• What It’s Like to Be a Research & Development Intern at 3M

    • Carolyn Nye, R&D Intern​

      At 3M, we're all learning, discovering, exploring and innovating together. Our internship programs allow students to join other 3Mers on their career journey. Here’s a deeper look at the projects Research & Development (R&D) interns get to work on from someone who has experienced it firsthand.

      Name: Carolyn Nye

      Title: R&D Intern

      Education: Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and pursuing a Master’s in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

      Location: Maplewood, MN

      Past work experiences: Data Science Research Project at the University of Illinois; Previous 3M R&D Internship

    • Why were you interested in interning for 3M and this program specifically?

      I grew up in the Twin Cities and had never known of 3M beyond Post-It® Notes and sandpaper. However, when university recruiters visited my school in 2017 for a career fair, my Minnesota heritage made me interested in potential opportunities at 3M. I was instantly impressed after my hiring interview and fell in love with 3M’s culture. I was excited to work on a team to research and develop innovative products and designs that help push 3M into the digital space. 

    • Describe the projects you worked on in your internship. Any favorites?

      Last summer, I worked on an Alexa Skills Challenge for the Corporate Research Systems Lab. This was an amazing opportunity to develop my Amazon Web Services (AWS) skills, understand digital corporate security and work on my presentation skills. I helped 124 participants gain access to the 3M AWS account and begin building their own Alexa skill. 

      This summer, I am using my electrical engineering background on a project in the Corporate Research Systems Lab that incorporates both hardware and software. As part of a larger sensor fusion research project, I am using the Robot Operating System (ROS) to examine data from sensors and leverage additional features of the sensor.

    • What did you learn from these projects that you didn’t know before?

      These projects have allowed me to learn a lot about AWS, ROS and the other components required to connect these platforms to current 3M R&D projects. 

    • What do you think sets 3M apart from other internships or work experience you have had?

      The intern poster session—an annual event that let’s interns showcase their projects—was one of my favorite aspects of my experience. It gave me the opportunity to connect with a diverse set of people from all areas of the company. 

    • What was the most memorable part of your internship?

      Networking with 3Mers from the University of Illinois has been a very memorable aspect of my internship. It has allowed me to connect with people who all started where I did but are in various stages of their career.

      Additionally, I had a conference call following the Alexa Skills Challenge last summer where I had the opportunity to share information I learned through the challenge with people in the European Corporate Research Systems Lab. This international collaboration was exciting to see during an internship and really puts into perspective the value 3M places on the work I have done.

    • Interested in an internship with 3M? Join 3M’s Talent Community and learn how your skills might be a fit at 3M when an opportunity opens up.