One step ahead
Hoffman was well-prepared to begin his thesis research, thanks to his internship the summer after his freshman year at Frankford Candy, one of the country’s largest makers of chocolates and sweets.
Initially, his responsibilities included hands-on work. Then, he assisted in designing an ERP system for the company that, like the ERP he designed for the Creamery, tracked and located goods stored within the warehouse.
In addition to his internship with Frankford Candy, Hoffman also interned the summer before his junior year with Boscov’s Distribution Center in Reading, Pennsylvania.
“That was an awesome experience because there are not a lot of people out there whose job title is industrial engineer, and I worked in an actual industrial engineering office,” Hoffman said.
During his internship, he oversaw the company’s employee incentive program. Hoffman explained that every time an employee completed a task, they scanned that task into a system. The system, then, created a baseline of the employee’s productivity, and this baseline determined if the employee would receive an incentive.
After graduating in May 2020, Hoffman will begin his first job as a tech consultant at PwC, an international professional services network, in New York City. Until then, he plans to finish out his last semester compiling his research findings and writing his thesis.
Hoffman feels his experiences as an IE student equipped him with the skills necessary to be successful in the real world.
“At Penn State, you learn such a wide variety of skills that prepare you for a real-world job,” Hoffman said. “I could be doing something completely unrelated to engineering, but having that knowledge is super helpful to me, especially as a consultant.”
While graduation typically means an end to learning for many students, he hopes to maintain his student mindset throughout his career.
“I just like to learn,” Hoffman said. “I want to do a million different projects and I want to learn new stuff until one day I find something that will make me say to myself, ‘I can do this every day.’”
The student spotlight series by the Penn State Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) aims to highlight innovators, makers and those that personify engineering excellence in their academic studies. The department currently has 90 doctoral students, 59 master’s students and 436 undergraduate students. In addition, the department hosts 42 full-time and courtesy faculty members. Established in 1908, the department is home to the first industrial engineering program in the world and has made a name for itself in the engineering industry through its storied tradition of unparalleled excellence and innovation in research, education and outreach. To learn more about IME and how you can get involved, visit ime.psu.edu.