I am the new Region C Communications Editor and with summer ending I would like to post about some of the amazing internship opportunities our members have had this summer.  I will begin by sharing my internship experience and invite any of you who would like to share yours to send a write-up to rcce-c@swe.org and I will get you featured!

My name is Amanda Metzler and I just started my senior year as a chemical engineering student at Texas Tech University. This past summer I interned at CITGO Petroleum Corporation in Corpus Christi and I learned a lot from my first internship. I am sharing some of my experiences with you in the hopes that you can learn from them too!

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Events like “Intern Night” at a Corpus Christi Hooks baseball game make being an intern fun!

My work day, along with the seven other process engineering interns, started at 7 am with a safety meeting. These meetings were a daily reminder that safety should always be a priority. We covered topics ranging from the hazards of benzene to why you should stay off Pokemon GO while in the refinery. As for the rest of my day, I was left to work on my projects at my own pace, but was encouraged to seek help from engineers or anyone else in the company to complete them. That brings me to my favorite part of the internship; the people I worked with. Every engineer, operator, HR, and economics and planning employee that I interacted with was extremely pleasant, helpful, and welcoming. I have loved meeting and working with so many people. My tip to you is to make sure that when you meet a new person, memorize both their name and their position. It seems like such an obvious thing to do, but I can’t tell you how many times I only managed to remember one or the other! You never know what information you might need in the future, but knowing names and titles will help you find the right person to ask.

I have just a few more pieces of advice for you. If you are going into an industry in which you have no prior experience, I recommend doing a little reading beforehand so you are prepared. You’re not going to be an expert, but it helps to know a bit about what’s going on.  If you are going into the refining industry I would recommend reading “Petroleum Refining in Nontechnical Language”, or a similar book that gives an overview of the refining process. I know it helped me out a lot! Also, don’t be afraid to ask co-workers for resources; they want to help you be successful.  Another thing I would like to prepare you for is the large number of acronyms you will have to learn. This is the case at pretty much any job and the sooner you get them down, the sooner you will be able to follow along in conversations.  What I found to help me the most was keeping a list of acronyms and their meanings for easy reference. Once I did that, and referred to it about a trillion times, I finally started to get the hang of it. Please remember though, if at any time you have questions, just ask! Everyone was once starting off just like you and if they remember what it’s like at all, they will be willing to help you.

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Volunteering with CITGO was a great way to get to know coworkers while giving back.

I hope you found a few of my experiences and lessons learned helpful! If you had an outstanding or unique summer internship, I would love to hear about it and feature you in the Region C blog “Intern Insight” series! A variety of experiences would be great, so feel free to be creative. But in case you are stumped, some examples of things to include are a typical day on the job, what you have learned so far, and your favorite part of the internship. Don’t forget to include a picture too! Once I post your piece feel free to invite all of your friends to follow our blog and read your article!

I would like to give a special thanks to CITGO for putting on a great internship program!

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Getting to know the other interns was one of the best parts of the internship!