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BHS alumnus credits high school internship for sparking his interest

posted Dec 21, 2018, 3:23 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Dec 21, 2018, 3:23 PM ]
The summer of 2019 will bring new opportunities to BHS alumnus John-David Lancaster, a sophomore at the University of Arkansas studying electrical engineering (EE). He will be spending the summer working in Intel's Oregon office as a hardware engineer.

Lancaster’s passion for electrical engineering began after he worked for ConocoPhillips during his senior year at Bartlesville High School as part of the school's innovative internship program.

During his time with the company, Lancaster worked with the infrastructure team. He said he learned a lot and was introduced to the idea of interning for Intel by one of the engineers, who was also a University of Arkansas EE alumnus.

“He talked about his interning experiences, and one of the companies he interned for was Intel. He did research for Intel while he was at the University of Arkansas,” he said.  Lancaster’s interest and dream to work at Intel began very earlier on and he is now set to achieve it.

“It has been a dream of mine for a long time to work at Intel,” Lancaster said. "I’m just overwhelmingly excited to solve engineering problems with so many people that share my same passion.” 

Lancaster landed the internship after connecting with an Intel recruiter at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) conference, which he went to after receiving a travel scholarship from AISES.

AISES is a society supporting American Indian students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The group’s annual conference is a three-day event focusing on educational, professional and workforce development for these students.

 Lancaster is involved in many organizations at the university, which includes Campus Crusade for Christ International, AISES, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Language Partner Program.

Lancaster said it’s important for students like him to get involved because it exposes them to real-world opportunities, which is also something advisors at the university believe is important.

“We try to push more and more of our students to participate in the individual student organization because one it’s a proven fact that by participating good things come from participating,” said Thomas Carter III, assistant dean for academics and student affairs. “ John-David is a prime example.”

Carter said it’s often difficult for students to receive internships with companies like Intel because those companies do not come to the university to recruit, which is the reason he and the electrical engineering department encourage students to get involved with organizations like AISES, IEEE, Women in Engineering and Eta Kappa Nu.

By participating, students get to network with major companies and other students from around the world. Something the electrical engineering department knows is important.

“One of the most important reasons for a student to get actively involved in the student organizations in the department is it is the start of their professional network,” said Robert Saunders,  an instructor in electrical engineering.  “The people they get to know in the department will be part of their professional network for the rest of their career.” 

The electrical engineering department strives to provide its students life-changing opportunities like studying aboard programs, internships, and other real-world experiences.

Lancaster said the department has played a big role in his academic career.

“I think one of the main things that I will take to the internship from this university is the ability to solve problems, a skill I gained from my classes here,” Lancaster said.

Lancaster plans to graduate in May 2021, and his dream is to change the world by doing what he loves: electrical engineering.
John-David Lancaster
BHS alumnus John-David Lancaster will be following up his high school internship with ConocoPhillips with a college summer internship with Intel