Allyson G. Cameron – 2020 Steel Premier Intern Scholar
It truly is hard to believe that I am nearly finished with my internship at Nucor Steel Utah. I have conquered production-related projects, participated in audits and built relationships with my teammates that are sure to last a lifetime. My time at NSUT has been well spent and evenly divided between contributing and learning. I am humbled to have had the opportunity to do both.
My main project this summer was to investigate ways to regulate our desulfurization at the ladle station in the melt shop. There’s a kind of intuition that only comes with experience, and if there’s one thing I’ll take with me into the future, it’s the understanding that, while modeling data is important and valuable, it will only get you so far in a place as splendidly chaotic as a melt shop. At times, you have to bring in a little “cowboy metallurgy” to get you pointed in the right direction. I’m developing the confidence to make recommendations and try things knowing that it’s unlikely I’ll break the whole shop. I’m grateful to my NSUT teammates for giving me the space and encouragement to do so.
This internship took on a considerably different shape than what was expected. Less time was spent in pulpits with operators to see the real nitty gritty aspects of the process. Admittedly, I initially struggled with this absence but we were able to make the best of a bad situation. I was able to focus on some quality-centric problems that might have otherwise fell to the wayside. I learned much about the customer-facing side of the company — claims, questions, audits, etc. All of these experiences will prove relevant to my future career.
In sum, this internship provided a range of experiences, from analyzing data to interacting with customers to running samples at our chemistry lab. I have learned much about what it truly means to be a metallurgist — the good, the bad, and the Excel. Ultimately, I’ll end the summer more emboldened that I am in the right place.
Thank you to my Nucor teammates for your patience with my questions and for welcoming me into your family.