Emma at the West Hershey plant.

What do calculus and chocolate have in common? Ask Emma Lazar.

Originally from Dillsburg, a small farm town near Harrisburg, Emma took to calculus and first majored in physics at Temple. After joining Temple Formula Racing, she shifted her focus to mechanical engineering. 

"I loved the stuff I was doing," she said, adding that hands-on experience is something she hopes to pursue with her career—and she is doing just that as a mechanical engineering plant intern with Hershey. 

"I work for the plant packaging engineer, so all my projects revolve around packaging automation," Emma said.  "Every day is different."

The role exposes Emma on a variety of projects, from working with conveying systems, vision inspection systems, packaging machinery installation, upgrades, replacements and startup of new items. 

"I write scopes, estimates, purchasing requisitions, research solutions, complete CAD, coordinate contractor labor with line downtime, and oversee startup," she added. "I love the way that manufacturing has a high intensity. The people that I work with are down to earth and have a great work ethic. In general, we are all on the same page: keep the lines running."

The lines that Emma helps to keep running at the West Hershey plant make Hershey Kisses;  Nuggets; milk, dark, almond and cookies & cream chocolate bars; as well as Rolos and chocolate syrup. 

If you're wondering: yes, they do get to try finished goods (but not off the line for sanitary and safety reasons) and the company store has a "pretty nice discount" Emma added. How can other students get involved in a similar internship experience?

"Get involved! Taking advantage of Temple's resources gave me more tools than I realized entering into my internship, both technically and socially," she said. "My point of view going into college was to take advantage of every opportunity I could find, which paid off when they asked me about working on teams, problem solving, and projects I have done in my interview."