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Interns Share Skills They Developed With AMERICAN

May 8 , 2023
AMERICAN Ductile Iron Pipe, AMERICAN SpiralWeld Pipe, AMERICAN Flow Control, Awards and Achievements, Community Involvement, Water and Wastewater
Several of AMERICAN's spring interns. Front row (left to right): James Young, Nena Thomas, Julia Griffin, Cambring Drake, Aalayah Ramsey, Preston Key. Back row (left to right): Nicholas Griffith, Dylan Baggiano and Chris Zettler.
Several of AMERICAN's spring interns. Front row (left to right): James Young, Nena Thomas, Julia Griffin, Cambring Drake, Aalayah Ramsey, Preston Key. Back row (left to right): Nicholas Griffith, Dylan Baggiano and Chris Zettler.

Through AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Company’s co-op and internship program, Talent Acquisition and Development identifies college students who are interested in gaining valuable experience and want the opportunity to share their own ideas for enhancing processes.

“Interns working across the company are using the lessons they’ve learned in the classroom and the skills they’ve developed through this program to make substantial contributions to the work we do every day,” said Recruitment Manager Candace Cravey. “I continue to hear outstanding feedback from supervisors about the interns’ quality of work as well as the cutting-edge ideas they bring to the table.”

Below are five of our spring interns’ stories.

Dylan Baggiano

Dylan Baggiano, Communications intern, understands the value of networking for college students and young professionals. Throughout his college career, he was involved in professional public relations organizations such as the Alabama Public Relations Society of America and the Public Relations Council of Alabama. It was at one of these meetings that he met Communications Manager Joy Carter and hoped there would be an internship opportunity with her and ACIPCO before he graduated.

“I was familiar with the work Joy was doing and thought I could gain a lot of knowledge from her,” Baggiano said. “A short time later, I learned about the internship through my PR faculty advisor who thought it would be a great opportunity to help me develop my writing skills and get on-the-job experience with established public relations professionals.”

Baggiano interviewed for the position and started in Communications in January 2023. While working with the company, he completed his bachelor’s degree in mass media communication and public relations at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Baggiano graduated on April 29, 2023.

At ACIPCO, Baggiano’s work varies from day to day, as he assists others in creating communications campaigns, designing digital boards and social media graphics, and writing feature stories for both internal and external channels.

“My favorite project and my first writing assignment was a story on Engineers Week,” Baggiano said. “It helped improve my interviewing skills, and I enjoyed learning more about employees and their journeys through the industry and at ACIPCO.”

Being a part of Eagan Day planning and joining in the celebration were also a highlight for Baggiano during his internship. “Eagan Day was a wonderful experience, because I got to meet so many welcoming employees who I could tell are passionate about their work at ACIPCO.”

Cambring Drake

For Cambring Drake, an internship with ACIPCO helped her narrow down her career path and find her love in the finance area of Risk Management. Drake completed her bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from Samford University in December 2022 and was advised by her professor to explore options and develop her professional skills through ACIPCO’s co-op and internship program. Drake applied and began working in Risk Management in January 2023.

One of her first projects was to update Origami Risk, the company’s risk management information system. As Drake read company policies and entered them into the system, she gained a firmer understanding of how Risk Management’s processes support ACIPCO. “My professors taught me the fundamentals,” Drake explained, “but I’m learning something new every day.”

Drake encourages new, full-time employees and interns to explore the programs and resources the company provides as well as embrace networking opportunities. “It’s always important to keep an open mind, learn as much as you can and put yourself out there,” Drake said. “The help you need might be right next door.”

Aalayah Ramsey

Fascinated by the art of sewing as a young girl, Aalayah Ramsey developed eyes for detecting quality. She embraced her passion for complex patterns and initially pursued a major in theater to study costume design. When constructing costumes no longer satisfied her curiosity, she became interested in building and operating machines. Aalayah’s mother Alnisha Ramsey, ADIP/ASWP Project Management, encouraged her to intern with ACIPCO while she completes her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at UAB.

Ramsey began her internship with QA in October 2022 and has become proficient with IntellaQuest, the company’s new Quality Management System software. She assists QA by writing usage instructions for new equipment, and revising and uploading files to IntellaQuest for company-wide use.

“My favorite part of my internship is the hands-on learning and relationship-building experiences I share with foremen in the plant and technicians in the lab,” Ramsey said. “I’ve learned how the company’s production and testing procedures ensure the highest quality ductile iron pipe.”

James Young

James Young is no stranger to repairing equipment and working with his hands. Young enjoys racing bikes, a hobby that requires him to frequently replace worn-out parts. Understanding how his skills in building and maintaining machines would help him get a job in a trade one day, Young pursued a degree in mechatronics, a field of engineering that is focused on the integration of electrical, mechanical and computer systems, at Wallace State.

After expressing interest in ACIPCO’s co-op and internship program through his involvement in the FAME program at Wallace State, he joined the company’s Plant Maintenance Department. Young works on a range of projects each day, ranging from installing wiring for electrical components to assembling different machines. After he graduates in May 2023, Young will continue working in a maintenance position with a focus on electrical maintenance at a company in Wisconsin.

“My internship with ACIPCO was a great learning experience,” Young explained. “The program gave me the chance to immerse myself in the industry, and it has been very fulfilling. I have a lot of pride in my work, and it has been a good experience.”

Chris Zettler

Chris Zettler belongs to a third generation of hard-working foundry men. Continuing his family’s tradition in the foundry industry, Zettler interned with ACIPCO and gained insight into the value of financial outlooks for the company. He also gained a full-time position with ACIPCO as a financial analyst on April 24.

After graduating from UAB in December 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in finance studies, Zettler joined ACIPCO and encountered his first financial management system, Hyperion. The system enables the department to review and analyze account budgeting data. Using this system, he is building a corporate model to predict long-term financial positions. Zettler is also assisting Finance in preparing reports to present a clearer picture of the company’s capital management, as well as researching the performance of competitors.

“After working in landscaping for 14 years, I decided to go back to school full-time when the pandemic started,” Zettler said. “Getting my degree has opened many opportunities for me, and having knowledge of systems like Hyperion will give me an advantage in the job market.”

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