Casey's Search for a Summer Internship: The Power of Networking



Last winter break, I was really worried about finding a
summer internship.

In the spring semester, I was going to participate in a SEA
Semester (http://www.sea.edu/). That meant I
was going to be on a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean from March-May
without a way to contact the outside world. In other words, I needed to
finalize an internship before that.

The previous summer, I had been a corporate strategy intern
at Constellation Energy, a power company in my hometown of Baltimore, MD. I had
hoped to get a job in the generation side of the company as a power plant
engineering intern, but my chances were beginning to look slim. I had emailed a
couple people I knew and asked them to pass along my resume, but I hadn't heard
any response. I began to tap into the alumni network and interviewed for a
marine operations position in Boston.

Then, two weeks before I was supposed to leave for the
Pacific Ocean, I got a call from Constellation Energy out of the blue. They
offered me an engineering position at one of their coal power plants in
Pasadena, MD. Shocked, I asked to think about it over the weekend. I had two
amazing job opportunities and I could only do one of them. I spent the entire
weekend agonizing about it and ultimately decided to go back to Maryland and
work at the power plant.

It was an amazing experience. I loved being in an industrial
environment surrounded by huge machines that were always bigger than I had
imagined from the description in my thermodynamics textbook. I dabbled in all
aspects of the power plant - I worked with operations, maintenance, controls,
and ate baby back ribs in the control room. My co-workers were all very
supportive and friendly - we went out for drinks and played pool every other
Thursday. Below is a photo of my first accomplishment of the summer - I
specified and purchased this ball valve with actuator:casey_canfield.jpg

Now I'm trying to figure out what to do after I graduate in
May. Maybe I'll go back to Constellation Energy? Maybe I'll work for the Woods
Hole Oceanographic Institute like another Olin/SEA alum (http://thatsamoray.wordpress.com/)?
Maybe I'll move into renewable energy? We will have to see ...

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