Summer breaks are…phenomenal. Aside from more time to snooze, summer breaks can be an excellent time to focus on side hobbies, personal goals, and relationship building. If you are like me, summer breaks can also be valuable for spending more time with family, friends, and anyone in between. But, if you’re also like me, summer breaks can make you feel very inactive and lazy. Luckily, having a summer internship or job can help with that.
There’s so much to love about summer internships. Aside from gaining work experience, getting paid and increasing your network, summer internships are awesome for building your independence and transitioning into the “real world” after college. From finding a place to live for the summer to going to bed at 10 p.m. like most grown-ups (weird, huh?) so you can wake up fresh the next morning, summer internships give you a little taste for post-college life. In my own experiences, days only seem to go by faster. Before you know it, you’re saying goodbye – temporarily or permanently in some cases – to the people you had the pleasure of working with. It can be hard to say goodbye at first (especially if you enjoyed it of course!), but like Dr. Seuss said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
This summer, I had the pleasure of working for JVIC, a Zachry Group company, in Pasadena, TX (that’s my hometown). I really enjoyed working with the people I was assigned to be with, and the projects we tackled before the end of the summer. One goal I’ve set for myself for each internship I’ve had is to identify areas to save the company money. My thought process (and this could help you too) is that since they are investing in me, I should find ways to “pay them back,” so to speak. Whenever I don’t have much going on, I’ll respectfully go to someone’s office and ask if there is anything they wish made their job easier. If I have the skills or knowledge, I volunteer to help them. If not, I go to another person and repeat the process. Sounds like common sense, but it can be nerve-wracking and intimidating at first. But trust me, there are so many rewards that can come from being bold. You’ll thank yourself later.
From my three internships, one big takeaway I have is being dependable (even as an intern) and having a willingness to do more can open many doors. My first summer, I had the privilege of working at the corporate office for Zachry Group in San Antonio, TX as a Project Controls Intern. There, I appreciated the exposure to senior-level managers and the many amenities available for tenured employees of the company. The following summer, I once again interned for Zachry Group, but at their largest construction site in company history – the Freeport Liquefaction Project in Freeport, TX. There, I took part in a rotation program as an engineering intern where I interacted with several departments that played a role in the construction of this mega-project. In all three summer internships, I found opportunities to tackle development projects aimed at implementing new procedures and work processes. It was in these three unique experiences that I learned more opportunities come your way when you’re willing to contribute to the mission of the company. Your know-how on particular responsibilities could be an additional reason for extending a full-time offer to you after college. At the end of the day, companies invest in employees who add value. I encourage you: be an asset to your company while interning. It’s will surely benefit you in the short term and possibly even more in the long term.
The College of Engineering offers a wide variety of opportunities available to you. Find out what you can get involved in today!