Andrew Helms, a senior Packaging Science major, attained a co-op last year with Cardinal Health. During his time there, he worked on testing, documentation, and validation for medical device packaging. We asked Andrew a few questions about his experience and what he took away from it.
How did you choose your major?
I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do and liked how broad the industry is. Packaging Science gives you a good chance to learn about different areas of the industry before you decide what you want to do.
How did you attain the position you had?
I attained my co-op through Clemson's Cooperative Education Program. Cardinal Health flew me to Chicago to interview before I accepted the position.
What is the biggest lesson you took away from your co-op?
The biggest thing I learned is the important of documentation and testing in the Medical Device industry.
What is your dream job?
I know I want to work in an industry that places priority in package testing and documentation. I would love to start my own business at some point, but for the next few years I plan on gaining more technical experience after I graduate.
Who in your field do you admire?
George Barrett the CEO of Cardinal Health. Cardinal Health is ranked #21 of the 2016 Fortune 500 companies. I respect his passion for improving the healthcare industry and for wanting to meet his company interns-- that's rare.
What is something you are passionate about outside of the classroom?
I love to travel and experience new things. Moving to Chicago for this co-op has been a great opportunity to see the Midwest as well as opened many other travel opportunities around the country.
Any advice to current or prospective students?
Real world experience is the most valuable way to learn and it makes you more desirable for jobs. Do an internship or co-op every opportunity that you can. There is so much to learn about industry and every company does things differently.
This has been edited for length and clarity.