August 07, 2018
Internship: Intern Gains Mentors, Guidance, Job Offer After Graduation
During the first few days of David DeSmet’s (CEE ’18) internship, his supervisors let him know that they were committed to helping him start a career. Working at the Engineering Research and Decision Center at the Army Corps of Engineering, David has grown professionally through the projects he’s assigned—and the mentoring from his team. David has been offered the opportunity to continue working for the Army Corps of Engineering after he completes his master’s degree in December 2018.
CEE: Describe your summer internship.
One of the things I really enjoy about it is that I learn about so many different things by being able to work in diverse areas. I’ve researched carbon sequestration, used GIS data, and dataset synthesis. I’ve been placed on many types of projects, allowing me to gain knowledge in various areas.
CEE: How did you find out about this internship?
I was in the lounge at CEE and my friend was talking about the internship he’d just landed with the Army Corps of Engineering. It sounded interesting, so he put me in touch with the program’s coordinator. I applied and was accepted into the program.
CEE: Which classes prepared you for the internship?
When the program coordinator saw that I’d studied GIS, it was a big bonus. I’d also taken a class in applied data science that’s really helped me out—that background enabled me to be specifically selected for certain projects.
CEE: How has your internship helped your career path?
The people at the lab are very supportive and friendly. They let us know from the start that they were interested in helping us to find jobs. They also serve as mentors. The internship is in Boston, too, which is great because I’m from the west coast and I enjoy being in a big city.
CEE: What advice would you give to CEE students regarding internships?
I got very lucky with networking—without it, I wouldn't have found this internship. During my second semester, I was taking a very full course load and probably didn’t leave myself enough time to look for internships. Give yourself the flexibility to knuckle down on the internship search. An internship will help you to make connections and build work experience that will help you after graduation.