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Group shot of Canon interns in front of the Canon Regional Technical Headquarters in Newport News

Captains at Canon

Interns describe a summer of learning and discovery.

Above: Alex Tran, front row, right; Duncan Owen, back row, center; Gabby Beddard, front row, third from left; Emily Stanisha, front row, second from left

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Internships help students put knowledge gained in the classroom into action in a workplace. They also give students valuable networking and resume-building opportunities. That’s especially true with a world-renowned firm such as Canon Virginia (CVI) that has its regional technical headquarters only a few miles from campus.

This summer, seven of Canon’s 13 interns are Captains. Canon interns partner with a mentor and are assigned a special project. At the conclusion of their internship, they each give a final presentation to the intern group, management teams and human resources staff.

In their own words, here’s how four Captains at Canon describe their summer.

Alex Tran ‘22 from Herndon, Virginia, is an intern for the General Affairs and Security Departments. Tran, a political science and sociology double major, is also involved in Greek life on campus, is president of the Scuba Club and a student ambassador.

What have you been working on during your internship this summer?
“During my internship, I had the opportunity to support the General Affairs team at CVI. I worked on various projects related to business continuity, access control and fire suppression systems. The biggest project that I assisted with was planning for our active shooter drill with the Newport News Police Department.”

How has this summer’s internship fit into your academic and professional plans?
“Working with a significant organization like Canon has truly prepared me for a career when I graduate next May. There is only so much learning that you can do in a classroom setting, and being able to intern at CVI has been an invaluable experience. My time at Canon has allowed me to grow my network beyond Christopher Newport. I have learned to work within a multi-generational team and apply the skills I have learned at CNU to the ‘real world.’”

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Duncan Owen ‘22 from Richmond is a corporate communications and human resources Intern. Owen, a communication major, is involved in many campus activities and also volunteers at Riverside Elementary School in Newport News.

What have you been working on during your internship this summer?
“I have been assisting Corporate Communications and Human Resources with a variety of daily tasks and projects. I have been helping with daily workplace assignments, such as internal audit and performance reports, job interviews, and internal and external content creation for Canon’s social media platform and newsletters. In addition, I have been assigned significant roles in large-scale projects, such as coordinating the vendor sponsorships for the biennial company fall festival and managing content for the monthly employee newsletter.”

How has this summer’s internship fit into your academic and professional plans?
“Working at Canon has allowed me to gain work experience in the career path I am interested in and has allowed me to build on my natural skills. Additionally, I have been able to apply the situations that I have been taught in the classroom to situations and contexts in the workplace. Specifically, many of the case studies and theories that I studied and taught in my interpersonal communication classes have strengthened my professional communication across different mediums.”

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Gabby Beddard ‘22 from Richmond is a manufacturing engineering Intern. Beddard is an electrical engineering major, a member of the IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu engineering honor society and a volunteer at Heartland Hospice.

What have you been working on during your internship this summer?
“I’m interning with the Manufacturing Engineering Department, focusing on improving Canon’s current manufacturing process. My project is the Automated Coupling Removal Project. We’re working on finding ways to automatically remove cartridge couplings with a mechanical device in order to reduce manpower.”

How has this summer’s internship fit into your academic and professional plans?
“This internship has allowed me to apply the theory I learned in my engineering classes and get hands-on, interactive experience with electrical controls and communications processes.

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Emily Stanisha ‘21, from Loudon County, Virginia, is a product development intern. Stanisha, an electrical engineering and neuroscience major, is in the Honors Program and a member of two campus groups for engineering students.

What have you been working on during your internship this summer?
“During this summer’s internship program, I have been building a test rig to quantify durability during deformation of a device.”

How has this summer’s internship fit into your academic and professional plans?
“Canon Virginia has helped guide me in figuring out what I want out of my career. I can explore many different pathways and learn about a ton of different things like schematic design and how research is done in the industry.”


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