This summer I had the opportunity to intern with a construction project management company 2,700 miles away from New Jersey in Richland, Washington. And I know what you're thinking... it must have been so GREEN with an abundance of tall trees. Well, that was the case if you went about 2 hours west towards the Cascade range. Those mountains were between Seattle and where I was, and they were blocking much of the moisture. So I was actually living in a very dry, desert like area. However, this internship was one of the best decisions of my life as it opened my eyes to so many new things.
I obtained the internship through an information session the company holds at Rutgers annually (they love Rutgers students). The project we were building was a $16 BILLION project! It is a nuclear cleanup facility to clean up waste that was left behind from World War II. As a civil engineer, it was in this role that I really got hands-on experience. I learned about the safety culture in construction, which is always number one. I then began learning how to read drawings and understand construction lingo (Side Note: In any industry, they will have a lingo and knowing it allows you to actually understand the conversations in industry.) I left my trailer often to go out to the field and watch the construction. I would do inspections to make sure what was being constructed matched the drawings. One of my favorite things to do was watch the cranes do "lifts," which is exactly what it sounds like.
Did I mention that I only worked 4 days a week? Well, we worked 10 hour days, Monday - Thursday, which meant 3 day weekends! Since I was in another state, I took advantage of that and traveled every weekend. One weekend in Seattle, another white-water rafting in Oregon, another camping in Glacier National Park, and so much more! I also did a lot of exercising from biking, to hiking, and hitting the gym a few times a week. I did all of this with my fellow interns and other company employees. I got to see different cultures and climates by going across the country. This was an amazing summer for me. My advice to you is that if you have the opportunity to intern in another state, just do it!
By: Charlton (CJ)