Among its many outlets for community engagement and youth development, TIC Gum’s hosts a comprehensive internship program for college students to gain experience in their respective fields at its three Maryland locations.

While we could talk all day about what makes the program special, who better to provide feedback on what a summer with TIC Gums really has to offer than the interns themselves.

TIC Gums summer interns 2016
L to R: Alek Berger, Troy Joyce, James Szamski, Brendan Scott, Kayla Murray, Kyra Fivek and Dan Fleming


Our 2016 interns

  Alek Berger Department: Quality & Regulatory
Education: Recent graduate of the University of Maryland who majored in Biological Sciences
  Kyra Fivek Department: R&D
Education: Senior at the University of Delaware majoring in Animal and Food Science and minoring in Nutrition
  Dan Fleming Department: Sales
Education: Senior at High Point University in North Carolina studying Business Administration and Entrepreneurship
  Troy Joyce Department: Supply Chain
Education: Senior at the University of Maryland majoring in Supply Chain Management and Finance
  Kayla Murray Department: Marketing
Education: Junior at University of South Carolina majoring in Marketing and Human Resources Management with a minor in Advertising and PR
  Brendan Scott Department R&D
Education: Senior at the University of Delaware majoring in Food Science minoring in Nutrition and Chemistry
  James Szamski Department R&D
Education: Recent graduate of Juniata College in Pennsylvania who majored in Biology

Now that they have been introduced, here is what they had to say about their experience from start to finish.

How did you hear about our internships?

James: “I had applied for a previous position within the company, and they replied back with this position because it was geared better towards my needs and linked well with my interests.”

Kyra: “Through the food science program at University of Delaware.”

Kayla: “A friend passed on an email they received from their marketing professor about openings so I researched the position on the TIC Gums website and decided to apply.”

When you were deciding to take this internship with TIC Gums, what things did you take into consideration?

Dan: “TIC Gums offered me the opportunity to live at home and only have a 35 minute commute to work every day.”

Troy: “I wanted to work for a company that was growing, and where I could gain valuable insight into the supply chain industry…I also wanted to work for a company that had a history of hiring interns for full time positions after the summer was over.”

Brendan: “I took the job description, location, and hourly pay into consideration.”

What skills or experiences do you think helped you acquire your position at TIC Gums?

Alek: “…having knowledge of working in a lab setting helped me secure this position.”

Dan: “I think that my experience working with the Executive council for my fraternity as the VP of Finance has taught me many skills that are important in the workplace…”

James: “My previous research along with a strong academic background and lab experience from past internships, independent projects, and a multitude of lab courses pertaining to biology, chemistry and physics.”

What skills or experiences did you hope to gain from accepting a position at TIC Gums?

Kyra: “How to become familiar with certain lab instruments and equipment, …knowledge in food gums and hydrocolloids and how it is applied to the food and beverage industry, …experience with working in the research and development field.”

Kayla: “Exposure to different departments, a better understanding of the roles of each member of the marketing team, and a limited working knowledge of the basics of food hydrocolloids.”

Brendan: “…knowledge and experience by working directly with professionals in the Food Science industry…become comfortable operating the different machines and instruments common in Food Science labs.”

What is the most intriguing thing you have learned about your department or the food hydrocolloid industry while working here?

Kayla: “The most intriguing thing I learned about food hydrocolloids was the extent of their applications. I never knew they even existed, let alone how essential they were to food production .”

Kyra: “The amount of work, trials, tests, and parameters that need to be met with in each project. I did not realize the many aspects and details that R&D has to work with each day…”

Dan: “It was very cool to see all of the different sales information and learn about all of the different products and price categories.”

Has your internship helped you focus in on or better understand potential future career options?

Alek: “…through the HR-led presentations and workshops, I did feel that I gained valuable insight and advice about future career options.”

Troy: “Through this internship I have gotten hands on experience in a warehouse environment, as well as systematic procedures of ERP, CRM, and demand forecasting tools.”

Brendan: “Before working at TIC Gums, I was unsure how working in a lab would be similar or different than working in a university lab. Working here this summer has helped me realize that an R&D lab would be a future career position that I would welcome.”

If you have had other internships or job positions in the past, how does your experience at TIC Gums compare?

James: “I’ve had an internship where I took on more of an observing role, and TIC Gums provided more of a hands-on role, which I liked a lot better…I actually enjoyed going to work.”

Alek: “This internship has given me the opportunity to experience working with a large company, while still being able to feel like part of the team. While I have found that company culture here at TIC Gums is very professional, I have also found it to be fun, warm-spirited, and inviting.”

Troy: “At TIC Gums, I’ve gotten to work with multiple departments, worked on different tasks every week, and met many more people. I’ve also gotten to sit in on sales and operations meetings, where the heads of the supply chain team meet to coordinate future goals.”

What skills that you have used or gained at TIC Gums will you apply to future positions?

Troy: “My capabilities in Microsoft Excel have increased exponentially. I’ve also increased my knowledge of how different departments of a company interact with each other. Lastly, I’ve gained a great insight into demand planning, and what aspects it entails.”

Dan: “I will certainly use the time management skills to balance my time once I am a busy college grad. I have also learned a lot with Microsoft programs, I think I will really “Excel” (excuse my cheesy pun) at it in the future.”

Kyra: “I now have a better understanding of how the R&D field works in terms of specific projects that are conducted and how each project has certain parameters that need to be met.”

What are your plans for the future (upcoming school year or post-graduate life)?

Brendan: “My conditional plan for the future is to work in the food science field while potentially pursing a graduate degree in the field.”

James: “My plan right now is to work within the food industry (TIC Gums potentially) and evaluate my decision whether to go to graduate school for a science, nursing, or maybe even something else.”

Kayla: “I have a busy next two years with part time work, undergraduate research, study abroad, etc. and I hope to attend law school after graduation.”

How did your experience at TIC Gums compare to your expectations?

Troy: “This internship has far exceeded my expectations. I didn’t expect to have so much responsibility as an intern when I was initially hired. I’ve gotten to work on projects with results that are implemented throughout the supply chain on a daily basis.”

Dan: “I enjoyed how there was always something to do and that I wasn’t stuck just getting coffee all of the time.”

James: “My experience here was fantastic, better than what I expected...I think the biggest thing was that I enjoyed the atmosphere, culture, and relationships within the company. For example, I never thought that every Wednesday I would be playing volleyball with the other employees after work.”

Kyra: “I got insight into actually working in a research and development field and learned more about the workforce and corporate culture than I ever thought I would have.”

Alek: “I wasn’t really sure what to expect coming into this internship, but once I arrived I found the people I met to be nice and helpful.”

Brendan: “I am very grateful for the opportunity here that allowed me to gain first-hand experience working on an actual project, all while learning valuable information on both gums and life from my supervisor.”

Kayla: “I never expected to experience so much diversity in what I was able to work on during my internship. I loved that I was able to have the chance to sample a little bit of everything TIC Gums had to offer this summer.”

Are you a college student interested in paid internships with TIC Gums?

Send your resume to