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RuralWorks! Student Experiences

Two women stand in hay field

Learn more about real internship experiences from our students below.

Miles Merriweather

Fiberon Decking

Miles Merriweather is a sophomore majoring in Chemical Engineering. He completed an internship at Fiberon this past summer and shared his experience working in the continuous improvement department. Fiberon, located in New London, NC, creates deck boards, cladding, and rails from recycled materials.

Merriweather reports that he worked on a team to achieve a variety of projects. Most of Merriweather’s projects focused on improving efficiency within the operations of Fiberon. “We had a lot of meetings with Fiberon employees to help them create the workstation in a way that enabled them to move as quickly as possible without any loss of motion or time.” By implementing traditional Japanese 6S principles into the factory, Merriweather’s team saw huge improvements not only in time but monetary savings as well. This accomplishment increases success at Fiberon as the company moves through a period of growth.

At the end of Merriwether’s time at Fiberon, he spoke positively about his experience as a RuralWorks! intern. Not only was he able to work in a career field he is passionate about, but he was exposed to an entirely new network. Merriweather recommends this program to anyone seeking a fulfilling career-driven experience.

Shannon Gill

Contempora Fabrics

Shannon Gill, a junior studying textile engineering, spent her summer interning at Contempora Fabrics in Lumberton, NC. Contempora Fabrics is a team and performance apparel knitting company. 

Among her intern duties, Gill worked on various projects that utilized her textiles education and increased her professionalism within the workplace. She shadowed textile engineers, organized vintage fabrics into a digital library, and sat in on client business meetings. By far, Gill says her favorite summer project was designing and developing a unique fabric and seeing it come to life. Working on new software, she designed a red NC State-themed fabric and watched it transform from knitting threads, go through a dyeing and finishing process and become a completed scarf.

This internship has allowed Gill to gain real-world experience and feel prepared as she thinks about starting her career after graduation. Thanks to her RuralWorks! opportunity, Gill says she wants to continue working with product development engineering within the textile field. She is confident in the connections she made working for Contempora Fabrics this summer.