DePaul University Career Center's Blog

DePaul Diaries: Life as a Chemistry Intern

By: Sean Nasi, DePaul University digital cinema major ’15

DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.

Quinn Pazderka, DePaul biology major, received the opportunity to apply his skills during an internship with Vantage Oleochemicals. This past summer at the Vantage internship, which Quinn found through networking with a professional in his industry, Quinn was tasked with assisting the quality control chemists with their daily responsibilities.

“This internship was special because it was so immersive,” Quinn said. “I was thrown into their working environment and taught how to basically do everything the quality control chemists did every day.”

At Vantage, Quinn tested various shipments of incoming and outgoing chemicals, such as oleic acid, stearic acid, and glycerin, to ensure that all chemicals matched the company’s safety protocols. As such, Quinn played an important role in promoting and ensuring a positive work environment. To do this, Quinn had to take initiative at his company.

“I learned how to work on my own and to solve certain problems without being asked to or told what to do,” Quinn said. His internship at Vantage taught him valuable leadership skills that will be useful in the future.

Quinn looks back on his internship with fond memories. Not only did he learn several practical experiments, but the internship also got him comfortable with the type of work environment in which he wishes to work in the future.

“My favorite part about the internship was learning how concepts from chemistry could be applied to real world situations,” Quinn said. “I would advise a future intern to simply come prepared to learn and work hard. You’re going to have to prove that you were worth the company’s investment.”

Want to learn about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to Need help finding an internship? Visit, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.

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