By Jasvinder Singh
Hi! My name is Jasvinder Singh, and I’m currently a student at California State University – Fresno majoring in environmental science. I am fulfilling my internship hours with the Environmental Health and Safety Department in order to graduate next semester.
This field involves a lot of outdoor work, and working in this Fresno heat is no joke! I just finished taking water samples from every building on campus to test for lead and copper. Today, I spent my entire day in a lab checking to see if any lead or copper was present. I finished testing three sites, and some results were positive. Because I had some positive results, I had to go back out to the same site and get the sample again so my boss could verify them. After Michael (my boss) verified that they were indeed positive, he showed me how to fill out the paperwork to fix the problem.
“I just finished taking water samples from every building on campus to test for lead and copper.”
Even though my internship requires a lot of work, I really enjoy it because it keeps me busy all day long. Luckily my boss is really cool, and I’m allowed to do the job however I want as long as I finish it. I get hands-on training for what I may be doing professionally in the future. This truly is a great opportunity for me; I am gaining significant amount of experience and making some great connections in this field. (Which I hope will pay off with a nice job, of course. J)
If you’re a student looking for an internship, I suggest that you look for the presence of a mentor and an education. An internship should also not be considered a job, but should consist of the learning required to acquire knowledge and skills to actually be able to do the job at some point in the future. Become a sponge and absorb all of the knowledge you can, while also asking questions and making yourself valuable to the organization way before your internship ends.
Sometimes an internship may turn out not to be exactly what you expected, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take something very valuable away from the experience.