May Hennessy (CE) is spending her summer as an intern with Nave Newell, an engineering firm based in Wayne, PA—not terribly far from her hometown of Drexel Hill. And so far, her experience is keeping her on her toes.
“It's very different. At school, you're told all your deadlines and workloads up front. Here, new jobs come up seemingly randomly, because your project could be going in one direction and the client suddenly changes their mind,” she said. But, I've been super lucky, because all of the people at Nave Newell are so patient and helpful.”
Hennessy has a concentration in environmental engineering coupled with a minor in economics and was originally drawn to civil engineering because of the impact.
“I wanted a job where I could see tangible results from my work, and also help the environment and people's lives,” she said. “Everyone uses roads, sidewalks, and walks in buildings. It makes me feel like I'm making a difference in the world.”
What’s it like working the day-to-day engineering projects at Nave Newell?
“I do a lot for Wawa ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) Regulations currently, but other days, I'll help with what we call redlining—when someone marks up a plan with corrections they want made,” she said. “And when a project is due, I'll help with submission work, which is normally very high energy. As I continue, I'll start to work on bigger projects, which I'm very excited about.”
Her major, minor and concentration, coupled with hands-on experience leaves her with options as she looks toward her post-graduation plans, too.
“There are so many different things you could do with an engineering degree that are cool, so it's tough to pick just one. I'm hoping to get more into the business side of engineering projects and help the ‘finance people’ understand what the ‘engineering people’ are talking about, and help them make financial decisions,” she said, adding that she may go back to school for an MBA.
Until then, she’s focused on finishing up the internship (which she landed at the career fair!) and coming back to campus for class in the fall.
Did you pursue interesting internship experiences over the summer? Let us know!