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Culture - Mar 28, 2015

Internship Leads to Full Time Job As Environmental Technician

By Karen Snyder

Audra Gelhausen always knew she wanted a job that was outdoors, she knew she didn’t want to be at a desk all day. While she was completing her geology degree at Indiana University Southeast, she was an intern at Waupaca Foundry in Tell City, Indiana in 2012. She is now working full time as a safety and environmental technician and is responsible for monitoring and inspecting the plant’s affect on the external environment and supporting safety efforts internally.

Her father, Tim Gelhausen, is an assistant melt manager but she never saw herself working at the plant. “I told my dad I’m never going to work at a factory and I’m going to do something else.”

When she switched her major she realized there was an internship opportunity at the foundry. “I don’t think a lot of people realize there are a variety of jobs here—it’s not just production work and they never think of the other jobs in a factory, “she said.

During her internship, she job shadowed a technician and was exposed to a range of tasks performed by environmental technicians. She said her experience as an intern was invaluable and recommends it to any college student. “Being able to participate in a potential career provides so much more insight than just hearing someone give a presentation and talk about it or by reading about it,” she said.

She has learned there are a variety of jobs open for women in manufacturing: engineering, IT, human resources, even metallurgy. “A woman can work almost anywhere in this plant,” she said.

Audra encourages students to pursue summer employment or internships with Waupaca Foundry for the experience and for future employment. “It helps college students from the local area realize that they can have not only a job, but a CAREER right here at home,” Audra said.

The Summer Help Program at Waupaca Foundry provides valuable work experience and an insight into the variety of careers in the metalcasting industry. Students interested in summer employment at Waupaca Foundry are encouraged to apply.