Our Valuable Interns
Every summer, students from various schools across the country arrive at ESD to work as interns. They dig in on special projects and assist with different disciplines. Many return after graduation to start full-time jobs.
Our 2017 summer interns were asked a handful of questions about their internship so far. Here are responses from a number of them:
What has been your most interesting work assignment this summer and why?
My most exciting work assignment has been developing a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for a nationally known bank. It included analyzing provided utility bills and studying the efficiency of existing utilities to help recommend ECMs to enhance the performance of the overall building.
I’ve just started working on the Mission Critical Facilities team, which designs the systems in huge data centers. As I work, it’s been interesting comparing the sheer scale of my current projects to my previous projects, which were renovations of single floors and rooms.
During my first rotation in the High Performance Building group, I got to accompany some engineers on a site visit to University of Chicago Wyler Hospital and then worked on riser diagrams. This project gave me great practice in many ways. We were given floors plans and then we went into the building to trace out the shaft ductwork and the mechanical room systems. Drawing the riser diagrams was tricky since I had to search through as-built drawings from the 1960s which weren’t easy to read and weren’t up-to-date with the system. This project was thoroughly challenging, and I wish I could continue working on it now.
Workplace Solutions was my first rotation and, after just having completed my heat transfer course, it has been exciting finally getting the chance to use my engineering and problem-solving skills on HVAC systems in an applicable way. Within my first week here, I was on a job site and experiencing firsthand what I have often taken for granted.
In my first week with the consulting group, I have already been stretched a little differently in that I lack a background in finance, but I am eager to learn and get more involved in the pre- and post-design process.
How has this internship helped you reach future career goals?
It’s exposed me to industry and application of the theory I learned in the classroom. I’m beginning to understand how companies break barriers and evolve. I’ve worked alongside professionals with an abundance of project experience and made a real impact. I know I want to work in the collaborative and challenging environment I’ve experienced here.
My supervisors are constantly taking time to make sure that I am getting exposure to many of the different aspects of the services ESD provides as well as opportunities within the company for a more well-rounded comprehension and learning.
My main career goal is broad - to work toward a more sustainable world through engineering. Coming into this internship, I had a general background in electrical engineering but had no experience using that knowledge in a professional setting. Now, I’ve gotten a taste of the role that electrical engineers play in MEP and have gotten a rough, big-picture view of the building engineering consulting industry.
This internship has helped me reach future career goals by providing me the opportunity to experience many different aspects of engineering that have helped me discover what I may or may not like to specialize in in the future.
What has been the most fun part of your internship and why?
The most enjoyable part of the internship has been the intern outings that Human Resources has been generous enough to organize for us. It is a great way for us, as interns, to get to know each other and to also meet other employees in the company. It results in a positive vibe when returning to work and helps us better function as a team. Plus, we got to watch the Cubs win.
The most fun part of the internship has been getting to know some of the full-time employees within the office through project work, as well as connecting with my fellow interns during events such as the Data Center Fish Fry, the architectural boat tour, the Chicago Cubs game and a BBQ hosted by Mr. Gupta.
I have really enjoyed the opportunities here at ESD to work alongside and learn from some of the best in the industry.
Having the opportunity to explore Chicago in the summertime! There’s always something to do, between the food, festivals, fireworks, museums, beaches, etc.