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Seeing Through the Filters: Dam ’19 at Chroma Technology Corp in Bellows Falls, Vermont

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.

Optical Filter

Lab outfit, filters

filters   lab environment  spectrophotometer

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My name is Moumita Dam. I graduated from high school in 2015 from Los Angeles Teacher Prep High School. Currently, I am attending Antioch College in Ohio. I am attending this college with three scholarships that cover my full four academic years. Those scholarships are: Antioch Opportunity Scholarship, Horace Mann Fellowship, and lastly, the Arthur E. Morgan Scholarship.  I am considering Bio-Medical Science as my major. I have always been a big fan of science and helping people is my passion, so I could not find a better way to mix both. Science has always surprised me and I can analyze science better than anything else. I am a hard worker and I like to finish what I start. I always work hard on whatever I am doing. I pay attention and I try to learn new things that I can use later on in my life. Through co-op, I want to go to different places of this earth and learn new skills and gain knowledge. I believe in listening more than talking because that way I can learn new information and be exposed to other opinions.

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