Engineering a Cultural Exchange

In May, Greenheart visited one of our Intern/Trainees at AB Specialty Silicones in Waukegan, Illinois. Jose is an Industrial Engineer university student from Honduras who came to the USA to round out his education. We asked Jose about his experience so far. Here’s his story:

Why did you want to intern/train in the USA?

Having the opportunity to experience new challenges, cultural exposure, and both professional and educational growth in the USA will be highly beneficial for my future endeavors in Honduras. The USA, being home to leading technology and research institutions, will provide invaluable exposure to the latest advancements and practices across various fields I can apply when I return home.  

What has been your proudest moment / best contribution (so far!) to AB Specialty Silicones?

My proudest moment and best contribution to AB Specialty Silicones so far has been the opportunity to integrate seamlessly with the team, who welcomed me warmly and provided an excellent environment for collaboration. By engaging with various departments, I have gained a comprehensive understanding of the company’s operations and dynamics. This holistic view has enabled me to generate innovative ideas and contribute valuable knowledge that aligns with the company’s goals.

Specifically, I have focused on enhancing drawing projects and a maintenance plan for all the equipment, machinery and facilities, which has led to improved efficiency and productivity. Additionally, I have been involved in a few projects where my input directly influenced positive outcomes, such as optimizing production workflows and suggesting new approaches to quality control. These contributions have not only helped the company’s operations but also reinforced my commitment to AB Specialty Silicones’ mission and values.

Overall, the experience of working closely with such a dedicated and skilled team, coupled with the opportunity to make meaningful contributions, has been incredibly rewarding and has significantly enriched my professional growth.

What are you learning that you think will be helpful to you and employers in Honduras?

I am learning several new methods and techniques that will significantly enhance operational efficiency and productivity. These include: time management, problem solving, creativity, quality control and organization.

What is your favorite thing about Industrial Engineering?

My favorite aspect of Industrial Engineering is the flexibility and breadth it offers in various professional areas. This field uniquely combines principles of engineering, management, and optimization, allowing me to apply my knowledge and skills across diverse industries. Whether it’s improving manufacturing processes, enhancing supply chain efficiency, or developing innovative solutions in service operations, Industrial Engineering equips me with a versatile toolkit. This versatility not only broadens my career opportunities but also enables me to tackle complex problems and drive improvements in multiple sectors, making a tangible impact on both business performance and societal well-being. 

Any advice for potential Host Organizations or other intern/trainees considering the program?

If you have the opportunity to participate in an internship or training program outside your home country, seize it. While it can be challenging to leave behind your homeland, family, and familiar customs, embracing this experience can lead to significant personal and professional growth. By taking on new challenges and pursuing goals beyond your comfort zone, you position yourself for greater success and fulfillment in both your professional and personal life. The insights and experiences gained from an international internship or training program are invaluable assets that will serve you well in your future endeavors.

For potential host organizations, it’s essential to recognize the immense value that international interns and trainees bring. Their diverse perspectives and unique backgrounds can enhance creativity, foster innovation, and contribute to a more dynamic work environment. Providing a supportive and inclusive atmosphere will help these individuals thrive, leading to mutual benefits.

From Meschille, Human Resources Generalist at AB Specialty Silicones

Hosting Jose at AB has brought numerous benefits, including fresh perspectives and innovative ideas that have been greatly beneficial for our campus here. From an HR standpoint, hosting an international intern or trainee can be an incredibly enriching experience. It brings cultural diversity to the workplace. Jose has shared stories and experiences from back home, which have helped him integrate seamlessly and feel like a valued member of our company family.

Initially, the thought of hosting an international intern can seem intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. However, Greenheart handled all the paperwork for Jose’s visa, dealt with the embassy, and created a flawless experience for us. I would highly recommend hosting an international student to any organization.

Thank you Jose for being an Intern/Trainee with Greenheart and Thank you AB Specialty Silicones for trusting Greenheart to help you get the right intern/trainee for your business. Read more about Greenheart’s approach to matching businesses to the best intern/trainees for your company.

Ready to talk to someone about hosting an international university student or recent graduate as an intern/trainee in your globally-minded business? Visit to learn more or click here to apply now.