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The Return

Posted on 28th Aug 2016

It’s been quite a while since my last post. The end of school had me working on a 40-page engineering lab report, a process controls simulation project, and of course finals. I laid out a lot of goals for my summer with regards to my programming hobbies – a quadcopter build and some big website changes were a couple of thoughts. I have to say that I seriously overestimated how much free time I thought I’d have.

Now the summer is over. I finished up my internship by delivering a presentation on my project to my department and a larger presentation to the whole internship program. This summer has been a jam-packed exploration of a new city and a new company. I’ve learned a crazy amount about the pharmaceutical industry through my internship with Lilly, but more importantly, I’ve learned how much more I still have yet to learn. Interacting with all types of people, from recent bachelors in engineering to chemistry post-docs from Ireland to the CEO himself, I’ve met an absurd amount of brilliant people passionate about their work here. It has been exciting and exhausting, motivating and paralyzing, confidence-building and daunting, all at the same time. Now I'm right back in the middle of the university atmosphere, once again surrounded by thousands of people my age, but before too long I'll quickly pop right back out into the workforce as an *shudder* official adult. Hopefully I can hold off on getting that label as long as possible.

I did spend a significant amount of time this summer building a MATLAB GUI for my internship project and that turned out pretty well. I had a really interesting meeting with the Senior Director of my department yesterday about Tesla, artificial intelligence, going to Mars, and new technologies at Lilly. I met with several automation engineers as well, learning about process control systems in the pharma industry.

In terms of what’s next for me and my hobbies – I signed up to be a part of the in-the-works Notre Dame Videogame Development club as the webmaster. In between the end of my internship and the start of school, I hope to have a pretty prototype of their website (currently hosted at http://seangkeenan.com/ndevs.html). I’m also taking a class called The Chemistry of Fermentation and Distillation (AKA How to Make Beer 101) this semester. A lot of people at Lilly brew beer at home as a hobby, with a few previous employees having started their own microbreweries in Indianapolis. I want to keep adding little applications and games to my website but I also signed on to be a Peer Advisor for freshmen and I'm leading a service trip this year, so I probably won’t have much time. We’ll see what happens.

Senior year baby, here we come.

 

“To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.” - Unknown