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Malay Shah

Malay Shah


Chattanooga, Tennessee

I worked for Bayer's production facility in Cleveland, Tennessee. Here we made consumer care products such as Afrin, Claritin, Coppertone, and MiraLAX. I have performed three rotations in the manufacturing department. While doing the co-op assignment, my responsibilities primarily included implementing Bayer's product supply system (PSS) manufacturing practices along with leading and managing various improvement projects. These projects were put in place to further enhance safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness relational to the work environment and final product.

Before doing co-op, I worked on a joint research project regarding additive manufacturing and topology optimization between Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) and UT Knoxville. Doing this research job made me realize how limited my understanding of the industry and potential career paths was. Hence, this heavily contributed to my decision of doing co-op at Bayer in order to explore potential career paths and also gain industry experience as student to further develop as a young professional with diverse skill set.

One of my key projects involved managing deployment of real-time data collection system to provide more data driven decision making ability for the site in the future. This provided me opportunity to learn about industry automation and importance of data analytics application in a production facility.

This co-op experience has helped me get more exposure to the industry as a whole and plan my future career path better. The experience in manufacturing helped me develop my skills in business and project management side of engineering. It led me to my next role at Dow Chemical in the integrated supply chain logistics technology center. There I further developed as a professional, and had the opportunity to diversify my portfolio.

To the students who are on the fence or debating whether to do a co-op or not, I would strongly encourage them to take a leap of faith and accept their work role. Getting industry experience will help them enhance their professional experience, provide opportunity to network, and learn about the career path and industries that may suit them more.

Doing work assignments also provides opportunity to travel and meet other students—like how I met Evan Haase from Michigan State—who may also share the similar growth mindsets yet come from completely different part of the country.

When I am not studying or working, I enjoy immersing myself in plenty of hobbies and activities. I enjoy going on hikes, trail running, and playing sports. I usually try to play pickup soccer in my free time, but recently I have developed some interest in racquetball.

In order to get the most of out of school and work experiences, be open minded to meeting new people and experiences. This approach has helped me adapt in all professional environments ranging from research, production plants, and corporate offices.

Malay Shah

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