By: Eliska Hood, Intern at Induron 

If you had asked me on September 10th if I knew what D102 coating systems, ceramic spheres, long-term weathering racks, plural and single leg pumps, or even a cup gun were, the answer would have simply been, “Huh?” 

I came into my internship at Induron knowing what the product name, Protecto 401, was, that my family’s company “made paint for pipes and water tanks,” and that the only love in my dad’s life that even somewhat rivaled his love for my sister, mom, and I was for Induron. But as I would learn over the next 4 months, that didn’t even begin to cover the half of it.

I remember going into the office as a kid to visit my dad and grandfather, but it was a completely different experience walking into manufacturing at 3:30 am to start my internship. As soon as I came through the plant doors, I was greeted by David Linley, James, and Snuffy with massive smiles and friendly hellos. This was the moment that I realized what my dad loved so much about his job: the people. 

I helped can Protecto 401 touchup kits, answered phones in customer service, and learned about accounts receivable. While I bounced around to nearly every department during my first week at Induron, I began to understand both the pillars that make the company a success and the village that it takes to create what I ignorantly thought was a “simple can of paint.”

My official title was technical services intern, and I held that title with pride. This meant that I spent the majority of my time with Kassidy White (tech services chemist) working on various acid resistance testing projects, sitting in on weekly tech-sales calls, entering batch tickets, and (perhaps my claim to fame) spraying Q panels for weathering testing and salt fog exposure. 

On days spent waiting for panels to dry, I had the joy of exploring the technical side of Induron in the lab. I helped Yvette size up a test batch of a potential new product for spay trials, learned more than I ever thought I could understand about chemistry from Chase, and asked Trevor any clarifying questions I had.

My time (for now) at Induron came to a close on Dec. 22, 2024. Now back at school, I sit here writing this. While it has been a nice transition from working full time to be back to being a college student, little snippets of my time in Birmingham come to mind when I’m sitting in my behavioral economics lecture and there’s an example that would apply perfectly to the world of industrial coatings, and when I overhear people in the library talking about epoxy groups, or when I think of a really funny joke that I wish I could tell Yvette.

I now can confidently say that I know that D102 coating systems are an industry standard for coating steel tanks, ceramic spheres are a crucial component of Induron’s ceramic epoxy formulas, long long-term weathering racks provide an opportunity to see how a coating or system will hold up when exposed to the elements in real-time, plural and single leg pumps are different spray systems used for products with varying pot lives and atomization rater, and that it is very important to thoroughly clean cup guns with solvent immediately after use; however, I came back to school with so much love for Induron and more knowledge about coatings because of the people around me.

I had been surrounded by miscellaneous words from the world of protective coatings for my entire life, and I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to put understanding behind those phrases by my dad (Davies Hood), Jeff White, Jeff Lackey, Mike Nelms, Andy Odorzynski, and Bill Seawell. Sure, Induron is a business, but more than that, it is a family revolving around a culture of kindness and growth which I am proud to have been immersed in this past fall.