Frequently Asked Questions

Andrew's written responses to common interview questions

Status & Outlook

The last requirement for my Masters program is a fulltime 6-month thesis internship at a company. As such, the baseline requirement from my standpoint is an internship that is project-based and will be suitable for a report to my university that includes an analysis of the company and the results of a market-oriented research project. Ideally, the role would contain elements of strategic analysis, product development, and require cross-domain coordination. Of course, the potential for a salaried position afterward is a plus.

For a complete description of the internship requirements, click here to download a pdf of the program guidelines.

I am available from September 2023.

Five years from now, I'd like to still be living in Europe - maybe with dual citizenship in my country of residence (which for now is Germany). Professionally, I hope to be working on special projects for various companies. I really enjoy the prospect of bringing a focused, outside perspective to help a company shape the strategy for furthering their vision and then going out and finding the methods or technologies to help them carry out that strategy.

Experience & Scenario

When I was working at Allied Cooperative's Pest Pros Division, an opportunity to land a significant contract fell into our lap. The client was requesting a high volume of multiple, related laboratory assays to be performed on an ongoing basis. They were looking for a service provider that could provide superior sample processing speed compared to their current provider. The challenge was figuring out how to ensure that our lab could absorb the increased workload without degrading our capacity to serve other clients. It was a daunting challenge because the seasonal nature of our services meant that the division was run on a lean basis.

I was given the lead role in figuring it out. I realized that even if we got approval to hire an additional lab technician, we would still be limited by the facilities we had (sinks, centrifuges, etc.). Moreover, hiring a technician and building out facilities would take too long - the client would approach someone else. So, I tackled the challenge by improving the process.

Rather than adapting the protocol of the client's previous provider, I worked with the client and outside experts to streamline the procedure without sacrificing the integrity of the test. Furthermore, our laboratory's information management and reporting system was highly inefficient. I secured a bugdet to contract the development of a custom, lightweight laboratory information management and reporting software. This software was deployed within about a month because I knew exactly what our lab needed and communicated it clearly to a well-reputed outside developer.

We successfully struck a deal with the large client for this work and managed to absorb the extra workload without compromising our capacity to serve other clients. In fact, the new laboratory reporting software was so much more efficient that it allowed our lab administrator to voluntarily reduce her employment status from fulltime to part-time. Thus, we were able to absorb the large client and also significantly reduce our administrative expenses.

I wish I was better at saying "no" when I'm approaching the limits of my bandwidth. I think that my natural curiousity plays a big role in this deficit. I also think culture plays a role; my Midwestern reflex for politeness sometimes gets the better of me when, in hindsight, directness would've been the better path. Living in the Netherlands and now Germany, where the cultural norm seems to be more direct, I've come to appreciate that approach and I think I'm improving in this area.

My capacity and willingness to learn. As we become familiar with each other, you will see this strength demonstrated in technical and non-technical aspects.
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+31 6 27 55 23 63

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