It is hard to believe that my 10 weeks at Summer Consultants has already come to an end. Coming into this internship, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was very eager to get valuable experience and expand my engineering knowledge. This experience has allowed me to do exactly that and more. As a mechanical engineering student at UNC Charlotte, I had never taken a class directly relating to HVAC systems or building engineering field work. From my very first day, I gained a better understanding of what it meant to be an employee at Summer.
I was matched up with a direct mentor for the duration of my internship. Alex Martin, a Mechanical Designer in the Raleigh office, taught me a lot during my short 10 weeks. Prior to this internship, I didn’t have any experience with AutoCAD, Revit, or any of the selection software programs Summer uses on a daily basis as part of the designing process. Due to the smaller office environment and mentorship, I received hands-on learning from day one.
Having the ability to turn around and ask any question throughout the day, helped me catch my mistakes early on, expand my knowledge on various HVAC systems we were designing for a job, and get a better grasp on what it means to work in this industry. Raleigh’s Senior Mechanical Engineer, Rob Pointer, also gave me insight on project challenges through his discussions with Alex that I was included in on, and helped me understand the importance of expanding my thinking and how to utilize available resources to deliver the best product.
I never felt like I was “just an intern” throughout my time here. Everyone was very welcoming and treated me as another professional. During my internship, I had the opportunity to go out on 2 surveys: a state construction job at UNC, as well as the NC DOT where we were doing both mechanical and electrical renovations. Being able to go out in the field and lay my eyes on the equipment we design for in the office every day, helped me better understand how these systems worked and what their purpose was out on site.
Raleigh’s Senior Electrical Engineer, Amanda Brooks, was a great female role model for me this summer. I chatted with her throughout the week about her role at Summer Consultants , and she gave me advice about getting my PE in the future as well as other professional tips I will carry with me. Having had no background in HAVC systems or any previous engineering internship experience, I can definitely say I have taken a lot away from these few weeks with the company, and have a new interest in this industry.
Prior to this internship, I had never thought about being an engineer at a consulting firm or working in an HVAC related field. This opportunity opened my eyes to a whole new area of interest. Being able to play a real role on the projects my office was working on, and being given opportunities to truly contribute to the job through calculations, drafting mechanical systems, or doing admin tasks, made me feel I had a purpose here and was making a difference. This job allows you to continue lifelong learning and tackle new challenges on a daily basis, making what they do here at Summer Consultants very exciting.