A GREAT START

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Alumnus lands position after year-long internship

An internship at Milliken & Company Longleaf Plant in Sylvania, Georgia, paid off for freshly minted college graduate Dominique Appling (’16). When he was a junior, the Georgia Southern chemistry major spent a year interning for the international textile and chemical manufacturer. After graduating, he was hired as a product process improvement specialist.

As an intern, Appling was not afraid to ask questions. Now that he has his first job in management, he is learning additional skills that will allow him to succeed in his career. In his new position he “analyzes and audits the machines and processes in my functional area to develop improvements that will have a safety, environmental and or a cost savings benefit.”

Appling, 22, says the job has exceeded his expectations. “It is very challenging and rewarding,” he says. “I have the opportunity to make a difference in my departmental area through different process improvement projects as well as associate interactions.”

He credits faculty mentors for helping him chart his career path. “Dr. Don McLemore was my research professor,” he said. “Through him I learned a lot about industrial chemistry, and how to analyze different chemical processes and to think through and solve problems.”

Appling also acknowledged physical chemistry professor, Dr. Jim LoBue. “He is what I consider a true educator. He challenged me tremendously in his class while also doing everything that he could to make himself available to me and to ensure that I understood the material.”

Appling grew up in Griffin, Georgia, and always enjoyed his chemistry classes. He excelled in his math and science courses at Georgia Southern University and graduated with a 3.54 GPA. “The problem solving skills that I learned through my coursework really put me in a great position to work on finding solutions to problems on the job,” he said.

For students who want to carve out careers in his field, Appling noted it is imperative that they study hard and work diligently to maintain a solid GPA. “I would also encourage them to take as many courses as possible that are STEM related and focus on problem solving,” he advised.

Although it is early in his career, Appling plans to pursue a chemical engineering degree and work for Milliken as a process engineer. — Sandra Bennett

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