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From College to Career – Workdays like Childhood Days. A PORON® Foamie Shares Why

Posted by Katie Borema on Friday, March 29th, 2013 | No Comments »

We are grateful for one of our more recent PORON® Foamies, Kaite Borema, for writing this post!

Katie Borema - Rogers Development Engineer and PORON Foamie

Katie Borema – Rogers Development Engineer and PORON Foamie

It’s true, a direct path from college to career can be a bit worrying!  But my experiences have been positive and surprisingly, I’ve found my work days tend to have some correlations to my childhood days!

Almost a year ago I walked across the stage at The University of Michigan Hill Auditorium and fist pumped the Dean of the Engineering School while he congratulated me on my graduation. Although I was excited to be done, the thought of going from a completely flexible schedule to a more rigid one, of switching up classes and activities every 15 weeks to walking into the same office for potentially years and years… was all a bit daunting.


Now that I’ve been working for a little while, I can honestly say that it’s great to be a PORON® Foamie! Maybe I’m in the honeymoon phase of my career or maybe I just really like foam, but I look forward to going to work. Of course there are tasks which aren’t as much fun or exciting, but there are also times when work lets you be a kid again!

Here’s a list of 5 reasons why crossing the threshold of college to the corporate world put some pep in my step (and not just because of the PORON Cushioning insoles in my shoes!).

Through working with PORON Performance Cushioning Materials, I get to:

  1. DREAM!   Sometimes the dreams are more realistic: contemplating application opportunities, thinking of material properties that would provide a better customer experience, imagining the benefits of having some secondary processing equipment in house. Other times the dreams are less realistic: seriously, how cool would it be to have a scrap foam pit?!
  2. PLAY!   There are of course some knobs and buttons that are off limits, but overall work is a “please touch” environment. My first trip to the samples room was like walking into a candy shop: rows of materials of different thicknesses, stiffness, color, texture. Touching, inspecting, and pulling things apart are all allowed. Where else are you given the opportunity to saw a shoe in half?!
  3. MAKE NOISE!   One of our impact mitigation test methods is fairly crude, and the name says it all: Bowling Ball Drop. This test can get quite loud, since the bowling ball falls into a metal box essentially. Doing multiple tests is like holding band practice in your parent’s garage, but never getting in trouble for it! This noise has purpose, man!
  4. SHOW OFF!   I recently had the opportunity to attend the NE Apparel and Footwear Materials Show (my first trade show!) and it reminded me very much of show and tell day at school. It was great to see the expressions on visitors’ faces when we demonstrated the shock absorbance of PORON® XRD™ Impact Protection or the resiliency of PORON® Vive™ Cushioning. Showing off our foam and receiving positive feedback instilled a sense of pride for the product that we make, much like the pride I remember feeling after having my classmates ohh and ahh over the Beanie Baby with the misprinted tag that I brought in in second grade (or at least it seemed like a source of pride, then).
  5. INTERACT WITH OTHER FOAMIES!   If you start off with a great group of people and you add some quality foam, you end up with a great work foamily (am I trying too hard with these puns?). I look forward to going to work because I enjoy the people there. We are invested in the same goal, and that common interest creates an atmosphere where we can get geeked about things that others outside of our foam community just might not be interested in.

Can any of you relate to Kaite’s experience?  What inspires you about your working environment? We’d love to hear about it!

Katie Borema
Katie became a PORON foamie in 2012. As a development engineer, she works on the formulation of new products to provide solutions to customer needs. She would love to understand challenges being faced and help to design and test a PORON product that will work for you!

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