The Williamsport Internship Summer Experience (WISE) program provides students entering their sophomore, junior or senior year at the College with a resume building opportunity, workforce experience in a field of interest, assistance in choosing/confirming a major and time management skills between their work and personal life. Lycoming College asked our WISE Interns to reflect on their experiences and what follows is a series of their responses.
Meet Andrew Squires, Lycoming College Summer 2017 WISE Intern and class of 2018.
I was a WISE intern at the Williamsport Municipal Water Authority Central Plant Lab this summer. Almost every day I ran tests on drinking water samples testing for clarity, pH, and mineral concentrations. I also tested the water samples for bacteria presence, and sometimes ran tests on influent water. These tests are preformed daily because it assures us that the drinking water supply is both high quality and within EPA guidelines. I compiled this data in the Williamsport Sanitary Authority (WSA) database used to track the trend(s) of each of the sample points. During my internship, I also created graphs and entered data for the EPA and company to use. Two or three days per week, I accompanied a field tech to collect samples from the Susquehanna, the watershed, and city sampling points.
My internship taught me a lot both inside and out of the workplace. I learned a lot about the municipal water system, how it works, how the water is treated, both drinking and waste, how it is delivered, and why the water tastes the way it does. I never truly understood any of this before because I live in the Poconos; my house has a well and a septic system. My lab skills improved a lot over the course of the summer due to the sheer amount of time spent running tests. I also learned a lot about the area, both the valley and the hills, because of time spent in the field collecting samples with the field techs. Overall, my WISE internship was the best summer job I have ever had.
The WISE program gave me the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in an accredited lab, which in turn, gave me insight into the professional world and its inner-workings. My time at this internship made me realize that specialization and education are the keys to success in this career field, and it has helped me to realize that I would like to continue on to graduate school.