Scientific Glass Technology (SGT) graduate Olivia Bugbee parlayed a summer internship at GE Global Research in upstate New York into a full-time position with the company. Olivia, a graduate of Northampton Area Public High School in Pennsylvania, interned with GE Global Research during the summer of 2013, between her first and second year at SCC.
“It has been my experience that a great number of jobs available in the industry require the SCC degree,” said Olivia, who learned about SCC’s program via an online search.
For Olivia, the decision for join GE Global Research that summer was life changing. GE was so impressed that they offered to pay for her second year of schooling if, upon earning her degree, she went to work for the company.
“In the year that followed, I returned to SCC determined to graduate ready for the work force and the entire SGT staff was very supportive,” she said. “Dennis Briening [the instructional chair who retired in December 2017], went way above and beyond for me. The job at GE required working with quartz, which wasn’t something we were doing at SCC at the time. The company had given me some tubing to practice with and Dennis gave me personalized attention to help prepare me to work with the new material.”
Just before the beginning of the second semester, GE informed Olivia that a company representative would visit SCC to test her on making a reactor head. “Again, this was something that I had very little experience with and Dennis took the time to meet with me to help me though the process,” Olivia recalled. “I have never attended a class - glass or otherwise - in which I received such individualized attention.”
Olivia pointed out that since scientific glass is such a specialized field, information is not always easy to come by. “I brought all of my handouts and notes with me to New York where I keep them close. I still reference them today,” she said. “I was also lucky enough to take advantage of the art classes offered at the glass center. Here again, the instruction was exceptional, and a holistic knowledge of glass has served me well to this day.”
Today, Olivia is a Scientific Glass Technician-Class A and leader of the glass shop at GE Global Research in Niskayuna, NY “The center is the global headquarters for General Electric research,” she said. “As such, there are multiple disciplines on campus. The glass shop meets the needs of researchers working on anything from additive technology to aviation to metallurgy. This diversity requires the glass shop to meet a wide variety of needs.
“The work is challenging and rewarding,” said Olivia. “I can honestly say I never have a dull day at work. Every day, I am grateful to get to do the work that I do. It is thanks to SCC and their incredible faculty that I got my chance to do it.”
What's her advice to prospective SGT students?
“I strongly encourage anyone considering the SCC SGT program to go for it! It is a truly amazing facility filled with talented, committed, and creative people,” said Olivia, who attended the 2018 International Flameworking Conference at the Glass Education Center. “Had I had the chance, I would have stayed at Salem for five years. But I couldn't because SCC got me my dream job.”