Graduate Internship Program Gives Students an Edge

Lucia Battaglia was a middle-schooler in Mexico when she first showed an interest in the sciences. At the time, it wasn’t exactly clear that she had found her calling.

“I was doing terribly,” she recalled. “My chemistry teacher pulled me aside and tried to explain the importance of chemistry to me. He made me believe I could be good at this.”

Battaglia, now a development engineer at Intel Corporation, went on to complete her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She moved to Oregon to study chemistry at Portland State University before completing a master’s degree in chemistry at the University of Oregon.

Battaglia worked hard to achieve academic success, but it was the Graduate Internship Program (GIP) at the UO that really propelled her toward her ultimate goal of working at Intel. The accelerated program pairs intensive lab and course work with nine-month paid internships in the industry. Students receive instruction, hands-on training, and access to the high-capacity scientific instruments in the Center for Advance Materials Characterization in Oregon (CAMCOR), the UO’s high-tech extension service housed in the Lokey Laboratories. The innovative, results-oriented program fast-tracks students into scientific careers.

Of course, it also takes a special kind of student. As Battaglia showed when she introduced herself to her classmates in the GIP, her commitment to her goals ran deep.

“My name is Lucia Battaglia,” she announced. “And I want to work at Intel.”

Battaglia’s fascination with semiconductors began in the chemistry lab at PSU. Her professor suggested she consider the master’s program at the UO, which combined engineering and chemistry and seemed like the perfect fit.

Battaglia’s engineering background qualified her for several positions at Intel, but the master’s program helped focus her knowledge of the technology. After spending a summer dissecting semiconductors, she found she had a strong edge over other applicants.

Battaglia applied for three positions at the semiconductor giant and got invited back for three interviews. In one of the interviews, she was asked about metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs).

“Do you know what a MOSFET is?” the interviewer asked.

“Do you want me to draw one for you?” Battaglia replied, before offering up a perfect sketch of the commonly used circuit transistor.

Battaglia ended up receiving offers for all three positions, but decided the development engineer job was for her. Now that she’s no longer in school, she has time to concentrate on other things—like taking a boxing class, training for a half-marathon, and setting a great example for her son, a student at Portland Community College.

Battaglia has come a long way since her days as a struggling chemistry student. As an Intel engineer, she enjoys developing new technologies and seeing the latest and greatest in equipment and processes years before anybody else does. She loves being a part of a vital industry, and her time at the UO helped her dream big and achieve her goals.