At 3M, we're all learning, discovering, exploring and innovating together. Our internship programs allow for students to join other 3Mers on their career journey. Here’s a deeper look at what it’s like to be a Research & Development (R&D) intern from someone who has experienced it firsthand.
Name: Matthew Messina
Title: Product Development Engineer
Number of years at 3M: One
Education: B.S. in bioelectronics from Marquette University
Office Location: Maplewood, MN
When I was studying biomedical engineering at Marquette, I was interested in becoming a dentist. As I was balancing the options between careers in engineering and dentistry I learned that 3M sold a dental product—the 3M True Definition Scanner. When I was introduced to the Lab Manager of their R&D team and discussed a potential internship with them, I thought the opportunity would be an incredible way for me to apply both my skill set in biomedical engineering and my passions for dentistry and the Health Care industry.
During my internship at 3M there was always something new to learn about the company, the culture and the surrounding areas that sparked my interest. I was confident that by starting my career at 3M I would find a healthy culture, a supportive team, an interesting job with an appropriate work-life balance and opportunities to continue to grow.
My internships with the True Definition Scanner team involved both hardware and software projects. During my internship, I was working with the scanner hardware to evaluate performance as well as writing software to generate test scripts and compare differences between each system. Now, rather than dental scanners, I work with the Connected Roads team to assist the research and development of new hardware and software tools for connected and automated vehicles.
It taught me some of the fundamentals of R&D at 3M and the technical skills that I use today. More importantly, I learned the importance of professionalism, the ability to learn as a team, how to present data and results to a technical team and stakeholders, as well as the wide breadth of career opportunities you have at 3M.
Be open about which projects you will work on. I was surprised when my exposure shifted from everything about dentistry to everything about pavement markings and road signs. 3M is always thinking about what’s next, especially if you’re involved in R&D, which calls for people to be open to change. If you want to work on many different products, 3M might be a perfect place for you.
I will never forget my first teammates here at 3M. As I begin my career there are many people who have helped inspire me to learn and grow who I owe a great deal to. But to whom I owe the most are the friends who first welcomed me to the team and have loved me for who I am. I am incredibly thankful for the lifelong friendships that I have gained so far at 3M.