I Made the Leap From Intern to Full-Time Production Engineer — Here’s How!

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Kayla Goudeau

Photo courtesy of ASML.

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Fairygodboss
April 23, 2024 at 1:14AM UTC

Everyone decides to enter the engineering field for their own reasons. For Kayla Goudeau, it was an early passion for math and science that made her gravitate toward this path and an exciting career that allows her to apply these skills. “I made the decision to pursue chemical engineering because I felt like it offered me a wide range of interesting career choices,” she says.

In college Goudeau’s career path opened up with an internship position at ASML — the world’s leading supplier and manufacturer of complex lithography machines. That opportunity led to her advancing to become a First Line Support (FLS) Production engineer.

She makes a large impact in her role at ASML and makes it a priority to assist other women in getting their own start by recruiting at career fairs herself — the same place her journey began. “In the future, I hope to see not just more women starting careers in engineering but more Women of Color as well,” notes Goudeau. “Engineering is a collaborative field, and we need to start seeing more diverse voices represented in order to move the industry to maximize its full potential.”

Here, Goudeau tells us a bit more about her journey and shares her best tips for fellow women in engineering.

Let’s start at the beginning of your career journey. How did you start your internship with ASML, and how did ASML help support you during this often overwhelming time?

I heard about ASML at my University’s career fair. One of ASML’s Hiring Managers was screaming, “engineers,” so I just went over to their display table and began talking to them about the company. I had not heard of ASML before, but the more we talked, the more interesting the company sounded. It was clear, even from our brief chat at the career fair, that this was a company with a wide range of opportunities in STEM fields. 

My ASML contacts were very responsive anytime I had questions about the company or the Wilton, Connecticut area. It helped both my parents and me feel comfortable going far away from home for an internship.   

How did you make the leap from intern to full-time employee?

During my time as an intern, I really threw myself into the assigned work and tried to learn as much as could about both ASML and the department in which I worked. Toward the end of my internship, I was offered the opportunity to come back full time, and I jumped at it! 

What about ASML made you want to stay at the company? And what are your favorite parts of the company today?

What really inspired me to stay at ASML is the culture. ASML has an incredibly collaborative culture where no one is ever made to feel dumb or small for asking questions and contributing ideas. I have always loved learning, and I feel the environment at ASML facilitates that in a way other companies may not. Anytime I don’t understand something or want to learn something new, there is always someone I can ask who is willing to take the time and explain it. I think my favorite part of the company today is how relevant we are. When you tell people what you do, they instantly bring up the growing demand for microchips and I think that’s pretty cool.

Currently, you are involved with recruitment activities at ASML. What does this entail? 

I have assisted my department at career fairs. This entails speaking with students about potential opportunities at ASML as either a full-time employee or an intern. As someone who has been in both roles, I can share my experience in both scenarios with prospective candidates. 

Why did you get involved with recruitment for ASML, and what excites you about this work?

Not only is ASML a great company to work for, but since I was recruited at a career fair, I know there must be other students out there like me who would be a great fit for our company, but haven’t heard of it yet. 

Could you tell us a little about any other groups you are a part of, including S.P.A.R.K.?

S.P.A.R.K. is a group at ASML that seeks to bring the younger employees at ASML together for different activities. It is a great way to meet people in the area. Outside of ASML, I am also a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and the American Chemical Society. 

What do you find most rewarding and challenging about your current work?

Anytime I make an improvement to our process, no matter how small, I find it incredibly rewarding. The whole machine is so large, so to feel you can have some impact is really great. The most challenging thing about my work is that it’s constantly changing. As we continue to innovate, we must consider new factors in our work. While this makes our work challenging, it is also what keeps it exciting.

When growing your career in engineering, was there anything that surprised you?

One thing that continues to surprise me is how varied the field of engineering is. I am always learning about new ways an engineering degree can be useful.

What is your best piece of advice for other women who are thinking about starting a career in engineering?

I would say trust how much you know. From my experience, men, particularly in STEM fields, sometimes treat women in these professions as if they are not as smart or question what a woman would have to contribute. I believe women just have to remind themselves that we’ve earned the same degrees and are just as capable as our male counterparts.


Want to join strong women like Kayla who are making a difference at ASML? Now’s the time; they’re hiring! Click the following link to browse roles.

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