W. L. Gore and Associates is one of the more popular companies that has partnered with Lehigh University. Every year there are usually a handful of engineers that accept job offers from the company. This past Wednesday I attended an info session held by Lehigh alums that currently work at Gore. For those of you that don’t know, Gore makes a variety of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) products but are most famous for their water-proof, breathable Gore-Tex fabric that’s popular in outdoor equipment and coats and jackets. At first I was skeptical about the kind of work a mechanical engineer would do at a company like Gore, which seemed to me like a place where material scientists and chemical engineers would be in the limelight. As it turns out, Gore hires a lot of mechanical engineers and they work on all sorts of projects. They range from product design to product development and manufacturing and more.
Leaving the very casual info session I really liked the company. What I liked most was the culture and work environment at Gore. Gore is special in that there is no corporate hierarchy like in most other companies. In every other company there are specified levels of rank in the work force, jr. engineers, sr. engineers, managers, vice presidents, etc. and that comes with bureaucratic barriers set in place on communication. At Gore every employee has the same title, Associate. You dont have to talk to you supervisor who then talks to his supervisor to talk to someone else, you just walk up to them and ask them yourself. This level playing field I find very unique and inviting. Another aspect of Gore I really liked was how the work was organized. Each person is part of specific teams that work on specific projects, usually working on improving a current product or making a new one etc. By talking with other workers one can easily pause work for one project and help another team if time constraints allow. I like this because it means that you wouldn’t always be bogged down with the same job every day.
In terms of internships Gore offers a lot of positions to college students. I asked when in a students college career they intern at Gore and I was told that students usually intern the summer in between sophomore/junior and also junior/senior. Some time in November they’ll be returning to campus for another information session focused on internships. I’ll probably go to that as well so stay tuned for updates.