An internship across the globe brings Houlton student to Taiwan
When spring semester starts at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Houlton resident and junior David Krampert will be halfway across the world taking part in an internship program with Foxconn at its Taiwan headquarters.
"I was not expecting to be accepted. I just kind of threw my name in there as a 'I should do it just in case' kind of thing. Then I found out and I was very, very excited. This is a big company and if I do well I will be able to stay with the company until I graduate and they will offer me a job. I'll be able to stay in Wisconsin and work down in Milwaukee," Krampert said. "I am not 100 percent sure, but I'm pretty sure that the reason I got it was that I had already been to Taiwan when I studied abroad."
Krampert, 20, spent a month in Taiwan last summer and enjoyed his time getting to know people while learning about the culture. His host family and friends first turned him onto the Foxconn internship and when the company took part in a career fair at UW-M this fall, Krampert decided to apply.
"My family is really happy for me. They were beyond happy. They were a little bummed I'll be gone for four months in another country, but they were one of the big reasons I applied for it," Krampert said.
With the Foxconn internship lasting 4.5 months — the interns leave for Taiwan on Feb. 15 and will return on July 1 — Krampert is excited to pick up where he left off last summer.
"I'm really looking forward to going back to Taiwan and getting to become more involved in their culture. I still have friends over there that are really excited for me to come back. Towards the end of my study abroad time, I was starting to feel like I was getting into the groove over there, but now I'll be there a lot longer and I'll be able to live there and experience what it is like to live there," Krampert said.
According to UW-M University Relations Media Services, this is the first time Foxconn has offered this international internship and UW-M is the only university the company recruited from for its first cohort. Krampert is one of 13 UW-M students selected to take part in the semester-long internship. Krampert will spend a month studying Chinese at Chung Yuan Christian University in Taiwan and then working on hands-on applications with a Foxconn facility in Taiwan.
"I speak a little bit of the language, mostly a couple words and a few sentences. I do not yet know what I'll be doing while I'm over there. This group of interns are the first group of people to be doing this, so they are still trying to figure everything out. The only thing that they told us is that we will be working with a team that will be doing real-world stuff and not just getting coffee for people," Krampert said.
Krampert was homeschooled before heading to UW-M to study mechanical engineering. However, Krampert changed his major to computer science since all of his uncles and cousins who have their degrees in engineering are now all coding.
"With my switching majors, I was planning on taking an extra semester to get everything done. But with this internship, I will definitely have to take another semester. I will probably be graduating the spring of 2021," Krampert said.