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Lyon chemistry major receives SCI Scholars Internship with Hexion

Lyon College sophomore John Pruden recently applied and was accepted into the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) Scholars Internship Program. As part of the program, Pruden will intern with the research and development lab at Hexion, Inc., in Stafford, Texas this summer. Hexion is a chemical company specializing in thermoset resins.

The SCI Scholars Internship Program partners with the American Chemical Society (ACS) and American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE) to provide chemistry and chemical engineering students with internship opportunities in the chemical industry.

Pruden, a chemistry and mathematics double major, joined Lyon’s undergraduate chapter of ACS and found out about the internship through one of the ACS newsletters.

“I saw that I met the requirements, knew that I wanted to see what chemical industry work was like, and I figured it couldn't hurt to apply, so I did that and I put my best foot forward,” he said.

To apply for a SCI internship, applicants must be sophomores or juniors majoring in chemistry or chemical engineering, and they must have a minimum GPA of 3.5.

Pruden said he was “shocked” when he learned he received the internship because the application was highly competitive.

“I was incredibly surprised that I was accepted because I was competing directly against students in schools anywhere from UACCB to Caltech,” he said. “I legitimately figured that the odds of me getting a prestigious internship...were so slim that it wasn't worth further thought after I submitted the application.”

According to ACS’s description of the Hexion internship on ACS’s website, the internship will involve working in a research lab on thermoset product development. The internship also offers guidance and coaching from research and development experts. 

Pruden, who is currently interning with FutureFuel, hopes the internship will expand his experience in industrial chemistry.

“Getting the entire summer to be mentored by research and design experts, as well as using the physical and organic chemistry tools that I've picked up this semester to understand why these materials behave the way that they do, is an incredible opportunity, and one that is rarely afforded to sophomores,” he explained.

As for his plans after Lyon, Pruden has several ideas from a doctoral program to law school, and he said this internship might help lead him in the right direction.

“Right now, my plan is to take things one day at a time, and hopefully by the time I need to know what the next step is for me, I'll be ready for it,” he said. “I hope that this internship clears up where I see myself in the future.”

Pruden said he is willing to help other students interested in applying in the future.