I am a senior at Antioch College and, for my fourth co-op, I chose to work for Chroma Technology Corp in Bellows Falls, Vermont. My experience with Chroma was very different in many different ways. I was working in a lab as a quality control technician. I had never worked in that kind of setting, but I was willing to learn everything I needed to get the job done. The main challenges for me working in this lab were that I had to learn how the machines functioned and there were many different settings that need to be memorized.
I came up with new ways of doing the job that were easier for me. During my last few weeks at Chroma, I realized that I had actually accomplished my work-related goals. What I really wanted was to work alone and, in my last few weeks, I was doing just that. Accomplishing goals regardless of how big or small they might be gave me a good feeling. During this time, I noticed that some of my co-workers were coming to me for help with their work. This made me believe that they actually trusted my work and wanted me to work with them. I didn’t mind lending them a hand because I was happy that I was able to do what needed to be done.
When I started at Chroma, I had no idea how to do the work or why we were doing what we were doing, although I was able to connect one of my latest courses at Antioch, physics, to Chroma’s work. In class, we learned about wavelength, reflection, and particle disruption on the path of light. While performing quality control inspection on the lenses, those same ideas came up. The difference was that theoretical knowledge does not always help get the job done. Theoretical knowledge tells us how a specific thing behaves under certain conditions whereas practical knowledge is what helps us to do the job right when those things do not act in those ways. Because the lab uses many different machines, the uncertainty is very high and often frustrating to get the result to be acceptable.
Quality control technicians work with each other but also often they have to report to other teams in case the product does not pass the required margins. When my coworkers asked me for help it felt satisfying, as it said to me that I had learned to work without having constant supervision.
Photo credit: https://twitter.com/chromavt
I am a rising fourth year Antioch College student currently doing my fourth co-op working for Chroma Technology Corporation. Chroma Technology Corp. is employee-owned, meaning they share their revenue among themselves which makes it very different than other companies. The headquarter is located in Bellows Falls, Vermont, where I am working now. The startup of this company is very motivating because six people got together and built up this company. Now Chroma has branches in many different countries such as Japan and Singapore. Chroma Technology is connected with many other companies that are dependent mainly on Chroma for their filters’ supply.
Chroma creates optical filters in which a plain piece of glass becomes a filter used in many technologies. The magic happens after following through a few steps such as: coring, coating, quality control spectral, quality control cosmetic spectral, and finally packaging and shipping.
I have just finished my first month working for Chroma. When I first came to Bellows Falls, I did not have much in mind other than my job. When I arrived, I was trained in the lab and started doing what I need to do. I am one of the quality control inspectors and I check for spectral. The filters come to quality control after several steps previously mentioned.
The first thing I do when I get to work is gearing up for the clean room area—I get to wear a cleanroom frock, visitors’ booties, hairnet, and gloves. After I am done, I have to wipe down any approved items that I desire to bring into the clean room (water bottle or cell phone) with alcohol wipes. I pick up the jobs for the day and I get started. What I enjoy about this job is learning what different machines in the labs do and how to use them. Although it is a repetitive job, I started to enjoy it. Even though you are doing the same thing over and over, there’s’ still so much that you don’t know and that is why I go back to work the next day.
My experience so far being here in Bellows Falls has been unique. It is a very small village and I am living in an old Victorian house. I never thought I would be doing either, which make this journey interesting. Coming from a big city like Los Angeles, moving to a small village where transportation is an issue can be not so pleasant. Living here and working at Chroma gives me some time to reflect. When I decided to come to Vermont, I initially had some goals to achieve but I soon realized that I needed to modify those goals. Working at Chroma, allows me to do so. I work weekdays 9 am to 5 pm and after coming back to the house, I can focus on my other tasks.
All in all, this experience has made me a better person. Vermont is beautiful in the summer, especially when you have the view of a running Connecticut River from your window. I have a little time to rejuvenate and channel my energy to prepare for the GRE. I am also reading a book for pleasure, which I have not done in a while. Antioch has always pushed students to reach next steps, and I have to admit it feels great to be on the next step. My success always keeps me going and my co-ops have been a big part of my motivation.
filters lab environment spectrophotometer
Can work in cubicle change your perspective on life? My name is Moumita Dam and I am junior at Antioch College. For my third internship/Co-Op, I started working for Northshore University Healthcare System. The first thing I needed to learn about this job was that there are four hospitals under this organization (Glenbrook, Evanston, Skokie, and Highland Park), as for my work I am established in the Evanston location.
I am working with Timothy Sanborn MD., a well-known cardiologist. He has been working for Northshore for forty years and besides being a great cardiologist, he also works as a public health advocate. Dr. Sanborn was born and raised in Evanston which led to his interest in the community. He cares about the recent issues in his community and wants to change policies to benefit those who are at risk. He has great influence in changing many policies in Evanston, IL.
Dr. Sanborn is currently involved in three different projects. As we all know, obesity is a growing epidemic around the world but also has a very high percentage in the United States. The first two projects are related to obesity; Sugar Show and Fitnessgram. Our target group is the young generation since they are the ones who are at high risk of obesity. Since they are the new generation to take on the future role in the community, the better approach would be by educating them about the current issues. Sugar Show is a survey-based project that shows how much-added sugar is in the drinks that we drink over a 24 hours period. The objective of this project is that after seeing how much added sugar we take in in our drinks, we will be better monitor our sugar intake. The second project is about fitness among youngsters. This project is partnership based; physical education teachers from schools and Dr. Sanborn work closely to bring progress to those kids. The third project is called Tobacco 21 which is basically about raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21 years old (also includes buying tobacco products). Many studies have shown that most smokers start smoking before the age of 21 years old. This is important, given the fact that a high percentage of American deaths are caused by smoking tobacco product over a lifetime.
For my work this term, I have been working on all three of those projects.
For Sugar Show, we are currently working on Phase Two of the project. This part is more intense than Phase One. We have collected data from 16 suburban schools from the Chicago area. I am working on a manuscript to show a connection between socioeconomic status and obesity. From the data we have collected, we have seen that students who come from a lower socioeconomic status usually have a high sugar intake in a 24 hour period which would explain why we see a higher rate of obesity among lower SES people. Those students also have the lowest rate of water intake.
The second project is a partnership-based project. We collect data at the end of every school semester from physical education teachers of partnered schools on students’ fitness. The end goal of this project is to have a higher percentage of students’ fitness fall into the healthy fitness zone. Having more healthy students would mean that we have fewer students who are at any type of health risk. My role for this project was to analyze data that was collected over the last few years. The majority of the work required knowledge of statistics and use of available resources that is helpful for analysing dense data. After I was done with the analysis, I had to come up with a couple of presentations that are going to be presented to the fitness board and then come up with a future direction.
The third project is called the Tobacco 21. The goal of this project is to raise the legal smoking age and also for buying any tobacco product. The hope is that by raising the smoking age we will be able to stop many young adults from starting to smoke and eventually save many lives. Dr. Sanborn is a big advocate of Tobacco 21 and played a big role in the Tobacco 21 change in Evanston, IL. As a cardiologist, he had many patients who had a serious cardiovascular disease and the main cause seemed to be their smoking habit. He personally felt responsible for changing the policies in order to help people. I have created a timeline of every Tobacco 21 event that has occurred for an archive. Since there has been an attempt to change the statewide Illinois law on smoking, this will be a helpful source while writing the manuscript.
I have never been this interested in public health until now. Attending conferences, meeting with board members and other doctors changed my perspective. I started looking from new lenses and it feels right doing what I am doing. I have been involved in all those projects and I am happy that I can be a part of this big journey to make a difference in the community. My working experience on a cubicle in a hospital changed my view. The knowledge I brought to the table has now developed and this can open up more future career paths for me.
I am a second-year undergraduate student in Antioch College. I am currently doing my second internship for an organization called the Crotched Mountain Foundation. This is a non-profit organization which is dedicated to serving individuals with disabilities and to help their families.
Crotched Mountain was founded in 1953. It sits a top a mountain and includes a school, hospital, outpatient clinic, aquatic center, residences, athletic complex and the nation’s longest accessible trails in a mountainside environment. My title for this internship was Para-Educator and I work in Crotched Mountain School and Rehabilitation Center. The training week was very demanding with long hours of training on different topics. Some topics were basic and others were more challenging. Before I started to work with the clients (Crotched Mountain Foundation refers to those who they serve as “client”) I had to have to trainings completed and have my certificate for CPR.
I started working after I finished all required training and my days were surprisingly busy. I had to be at the residential area in the morning and I was assigned a client and I had to get that client ready for school/ classroom and get them to school on times and have them eat breakfast and finally follow their morning schedule. After 8:30am I would get a different client for the remaining of school hours. I was assigned in a classroom that had children that were very different from each other on their needs and their behavioral issues. I worked with all the students one-on-one. During the day, I had to make sure that the client was following his or her schedule and being safe. I provided personal care for those clients as they needed. In case of an incident I had to make sure the incident was reported properly.
Some days are easier than other days but every day was a new challenge to face and those challenges helped me gain a lot more perspectives and experience. All in all, it was a decent workplace experience.
My name is Moumita Dam. I am a freshmen student at Antioch College. I have finished my first two quarters and now I am on my first co-op. I have been very excited for my first co-op. I wanted to be in California and wanted to do a co-op that somehow related to medicine or healthcare.
I am doing my co-op at Integrity House in Santa Ana. Integrity House exists “To foster a community where people with disabilities fulfill their potential as responsible co-workers, neighbors, and friends.” This place serves a unique population. The Fountain House model was originally developed to serve adults with mental health disabilities. Alliance of Abilities, while following the Clubhouse model, serves adults with a variety of cognitive disabilities, including intellectual, traumatic brain injuries, and mental health.
Clubhouse members work in one of four areas within Integrity House including, Creative Design where the members do crafting activities, Culinary Arts where members help to cook meals, Media Productions where members do online activities and social networking, and lastly Maintenance, which involves cleaning the whole place. Each area serves a unique purpose and is essential to running the Clubhouse. According to the International Standards, “members have the opportunity to participate in all work of the clubhouse, including administration, research, enrollment, and orientation, reach out, hiring, training and evaluation of staff, public relations, advocacy and evaluation of Clubhouse effectiveness”.
I am assigned to the Media area but I also work one-on-one with a member diagnosed with the most severe syndrome of all the members at the Clubhouse. I also have worked in the human resource area and also in the records. Lately, I have been updating the ILS (Independent Living Skills) training book which requires a lot of research on each topic and for me to filter out all the unnecessary information and add new information.
I like working in this place. I am a member’s personal aid but I also work with other members of the Integrity House. I like this job and I like to help people!