It’s been a while since I’ve posted a legitimate blog post (I know it looks like I’ve turned it into a make-shift Instagram), so we are going to have to back track a little (lot)…
This past winter break, I had the opportunity to extern (no, I didn’t mean intern…I’ll explain in a moment) with a Swarthmore alum at his company, Landis Construction Corporation in Washington, DC.
Extern, now what is that? Glad you asked! An externship is essentially a week-long mini internship. This five day experience allows us undergrads to shadow a possible career. Here’s what can happen: 1. You find a potential career path to pursue or 2. You find a career path that might be better suited from someone else. Both are positive outcomes, but for me, it was the former. Either way, externships allow students a quick, but super informative peak into an actual career. [And, as an added bonus, if you do not live in the area where you want to extern, you can even live with an alum (either the one you are working with, or another in the area)].
During the week, I researched the physical (roof space, sun direction, etc) and economic practicalities of installing solar thermal heating for pool and domestic water use at a property in DC where the company is doing major renovations (putting both my engineering and economics classes to use). I went to the trade day (meeting of the various trades: remodeler, interior designer, pool designer, masons, roofer, etc) for the property. My solar energy research extended beyond the computer; I also met with a solar panel installer company who assisted me in calculating the actual cost effectiveness of installing solar thermal heating for this particular property.
All in all, I had a really great time observing and working with all of these different career options! Externing is an awesome way for us to prepare for the real world, and look outside of the classroom to find new goals for the future. Definitely something to take advantage of here at Swarthmore!
More posts to come soon! Hope you’ve enjoyed having me (and my excessive amount of parentheses) back! Goodbye, until next time!
Blog title: 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton. No explanation needed (hopefully). I got to fell like a real 9 to 5er, taking the metro to a from work every day, and dressing up in business casual wear…the charm hasn’t worn off just yet :)