Gaining a versatile skillset: Hyde conducts internship at General Mills

June 27, 2024

Meet Erin Hyde, a rising senior studying industrial engineering at Mizzou. She chose her degree because of how versatile it is.

“I wanted a major that allowed me to explore various topics related to process improvement and how we use data for decisions,” she said. “I really like the focus on process improvement, economics and efficiency.”

Hyde is conducting a manufacturing & engineering associate internship at the Hannibal, Missouri, General Mills plant. We asked her a few questions about the experience.

Tell us about your internship at General Mills. What’s your role and primary responsibility?

My internship at General Mills is focused around the Hard Shells department (Old El Paso) in the Hannibal, Missouri, Plant. I was assigned multiple projects centered around continuous improvement trials, training materials and working with several different functions within the company. My role is to help set up these trials with the proper paperwork, DOE (Design of Experiment) and various pre-trial tasks. 

What’s a typical day like?

I get in before 7 a.m. to attend the morning meeting with Shell line leadership to hear the plant updates from the previous day. I usually have 2-3 meetings scheduled each day ranging from other people involved in my projects, check-ins with my manager/mentor/buddy, plant floor interactions and virtual events hosted at corporate (Minneapolis).

My un-booked time is spent gaining understanding of the new data software related to my projects, working on developing the trials and learning from internal videos. I also spend un-booked time on the plant floor learning about the different processes.

How did Mizzou Engineering prepare you for this internship?

My industrial engineering background has been very useful. My projects include data collection and analysis and I feel like my coursework has prepared me to be able to be successful in these tasks. I also have to do a lot of collaboration and the multiple group projects I’ve been in throughout my engineering coursework have allowed me to be confident when interacting with others.

How did Mizzou Engineering Career Services assist you with securing or preparing for this internship?

I met General Mills at the Engineering Fall Career Fair. That interaction led me to securing an interview and eventually getting an internship offer. The resources Mizzou Engineering Career Services provided, such as resume reviews and interview prep, were very helpful in preparing for the Career Fair and being confident in my internship search.

What have you enjoyed most working at General Mills so far?

I have really enjoyed the people. I have learned so much from my coworkers, fellow interns and mentor. The amount of support I have received for my projects, professional development and growth has been great.

My plant also has a group called HYPE (Hannibal Young Professional Engineers) and I was able to help donate Nature Valley bars to local EMS, Firefighters and Police Officers. 

What have you learned from your internship experience?

I picked up on plant software that I was unfamiliar with and got used to being on a plant floor. I also feel like my problem-solving and communication skills have improved. My confidence with using Outlook and Teams has greatly increased. 

What advice would you give other students wanting to pursue an internship in this area?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and really dive into your role. You are not going to have all the answers and that’s ok. I would suggest building your connections within your role so that you have people to turn to when questions arise.

Is there anything else you’d like others to know about your internship?

General Mills has been a great company to intern for. I have a mentor, buddy and manager that support my professional development and have been great resources for me to turn to. I encourage anyone who is interested in food manufacturing to look into the various internship roles General Mills offers.

Thank you for sharing!

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