From internship to career
Biology major ready to move on with confidence
Thomas Wagler ’19, a biology major from Bloomdale, Ohio, is a first generation college student who has been dedicated to his studies since he first stepped foot on campus. Wagler is currently finishing an internship with Wannemacher Enterprises in the Liquid Packaging division in Van Wert, Ohio, but he is also looking toward a bright future with the company.
Originally coming to Bluffton with plans to enter the medical field, Wagler never expected to pursue a future in food safety.
“I really have enjoyed the work that I do,” said Wagler. “I’m really happy to have the opportunity to continue my career at Wannemacher.”
Recently offered a full time position, Wagler will transition from quality intern to quality systems specialist, working alongside the quality, plant and operations managers.
“I will oversee document control and analysis for all the different manufacturing components,” he explained. “I’ll look at our different standard operating procedures and assist with changes in those procedures.”
Science (and science fiction) was always a subject Wagler was interested in. “My grandpa and I used to watch Star Wars and Star Trek and all those geeky shows growing up,” he joked.
However, it wasn’t until his internship that he realized his interest in food safety.
“I enjoy this type of work because I get to use my science skills, but I also work with lab techs and get to look at data and do analysis,” said Wagler.
When Wagler was first looking at colleges, he was a bit intimidated as a first generation college student, but at the urging of a buddy he visited Bluffton.
“I felt more at home at Bluffton than I did at any other school I visited. Other places just felt like college campuses, but when I was here I didn’t necessarily feel like I was at a school,” Wagler said. “When I walked around campus, I felt like it was a community.”
As a student, he immediately become involved on campus. Wagler has led as president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), served as a ministry assistant and worked as a Marbeck Center student assistant.
“College had its ups and downs,” he said, “but Bluffton prepared me to go into the real world. All aspects of my university experience, from Forums to my extracurriculars, made me ready to move on and succeed. Being a first generation college student was scary at first but Bluffton removed that fear and I am graduating with confidence.”
Cara Echols ’19, Student news writer