Internship Spotlight: Matt Smith, North Central State College

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

When Matt Smith was looking to transfer to another college to complete his degree, North Central State College in Mansfield quickly jumped to the top of his list.


“My credits transferred into NC State very well,” said Smith, who started at the school in the fall of 2013. “I only needed the engineering courses and three others (to complete my associate degree).”


Part of his experience since he’s been at North Central State has been an internship with Fives-ST (pronounced “feevs”), a medium-sized multinational engineering services firm in Mansfield. Dan Balcer, president of Fives-ST, said the company has about 8,000 employees with offices in 30 countries, including a corporate office in Paris, France. The company operates four divisions in Ohio.


Balcer opened the Mansfield office in 2011 with four employees. Today, there are 20, and Balcer said he is looking to expand.


“This office has clients all over the world. We specialize in treatment lines for flat steel and wire, as well as re-heating steel (in preparation for further processing),” he said.


Fives also seeks talented engineers to complete its work for demanding clients. In addition to Smith, the company has hired two graduates from NC State and one other intern. Smith began his internship at Fives last fall.


“I thought it would be overwhelming, but they helped me understand what I was being asked to do,” Smith said. “At first it was simple (tasks). Now it’s really exciting. I’m getting to contribute to the drawings and designs. It’s exactly what I wanted to do.”


His success at Fives is continuing in the classroom.


“My performance since I enrolled at NC State has been higher. I really like what I do, and I have a lot of family support here in the area,” Smith said.


Part of that support is his growing family. He and his wife have a 21-month-old son, and another child on the way. That baby will arrive around the same time Matt graduates with his associate degree in engineering design.


As for his future plans, Smith said his supervisor has already asked if he is interested in staying with Fives.


“That’s a really easy decision. I really like what I’m doing. I’m thinking of continuing my education toward a bachelor’s degree,” Smith said.

Balcer said Fives offers tremendous potential for Smith as he embarks on his career.


“This office has a small-town feel, but with international opportunities,” he said.