From Intern to Engineer

Samantha’s journey at INFICON Syracuse

Sam Franklin at work

Meet Samantha Franklin, Industrial Engineer, working in our Syracuse facility. Samantha (Sam) joined the company in June of this year, but she is no stranger to INFICON, having completed not one, but two internships.

We first met Sam in the summer of 2021, while she was attending Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), where she worked with our operations team on the foundation work for 5S on the entire production floor. She also participated in repair foundation work (time studies, process flow maps, process matrix which contains all the details). She returned to us as an intern in January 2022 and stayed through the summer internship.


How was the second internship here different from your first?

The second internship was a much different experience than first time around. I had the advantage of knowing people and there wasn’t as much training as the first time.

I traveled to INFICON EDC, in Kansas, and did foundation work for their high-volume crystal manufacturing. I really enjoyed seeing the differences between the manufacturing in Kansas vs. Syracuse. I made my first value stream map at INFICON EDC, which allowed me to look at processes from a high level to uncover waste and implement continuous improvement efforts. 


Back in Syracuse, I focused on the layout change of our largest clean room production area, the 100K. This was a good way to help learn about project management and gave me great exposure to different functions of the business: facilities, IT, the production floor and the planning teams. This project allowed me to use many of the elements I had learned in my university classes. I created an entire layout, worked with all the production teams to determine what layout worked best for them, where the caveats were, and where the critical things were (what really needed to be near what).

What happened after your internship ended?

In October 2022, I returned to INFICON part-time and worked remote on a special project, while I attended school to finish my degree. It was cool to come back in October and see everything I had been involved with come to life. This time I worked on documentation to support our Lean Continuous Improvement journey. I was excited to learn that my manager would be presenting my work at the global operations meeting later that year.


And, now you’re at INFICON full time?

Yes, after I completed a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and a Masters in Industrial & Systems Engineering from RIT, I began working at INFICON full-time in June of this year. There was a lot less stress in my last semester at school, knowing I had a job to go after I finished!

What was your favorite part about being a part of the INFICON intern program?

My favorite part about being an intern is that it gave me real work that impacted the company’s projects.  And, I wasn’t micromanaged, which really helped me learn and grow so much. My manager gave me autonomy and I was able to make great connections with technicians, as I researched/learned what I needed.

There are a lot of great companies to choose from. Why did you choose INFICON?

The people and the culture. I am so impressed by all the company does to keep their employees motivated and successful. Our management team is available and visible much of the time, we have celebrations, like Employee Appreciation Day, and the colleagues are nice and helpful.

My favorite part about being an intern is that it gave me real work that impacted the company’s projects.
Samantha Franklin
Industrial Engineer

Do you have aspirations you want to share?

Not yet, I’m still learning and making connections with everyone here.  I’m looking forward to learning more about our operations department, as well as how engineering and research and development all fit together in making INFICON the technology leader it is.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love to read and go camping. I enjoy playing with my dogs (I really want to adopt another one!). I also like to travel and I’m a big Disney fan!

Sam Franklin Disney
Sam Franklin Disney
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