Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Summer to Remember

Hello Everyone! 

It has not been too long since I last posted on the blog, but I thought I would go ahead and start off the 2013-2014 school year with a post about my very wonderful and memorable summer.

My summer began with my internship at Envision Charlotte in the middle of uptown Charlotte.  The scariest part of starting my internship wasn’t the fact that I was going to be somewhere new or working with “high-up” people – It was the realization that I would be driving myself to the middle of a metropolitan city during rush hour when I did not have much previous driving experience.  Fortunately, after a few days on the job I got more confident with my driving (traffic was not as bad as I had imagined it would be), and I could make it to my internship site’s parking deck with minimal honking from the vehicles around me.

My internship was phenomenal since I worked so closely with both Envision Charlotte (whose focus is sustainability within Charlotte companies) and Charlotte Center City Partners (who organizes and facilitates numerous events in the community).  With Envision Charlotte, I worked closely with the air quality program and visited the big buildings in the uptown area to look at their standby diesel generators.  Let’s just say, I got to see a lot of basements during my 6 week internship.  I also attended numerous board meetings, socials, community events, and lunches during my internship as well as a scavenger hunt in “South End” during my last week.  It was simply amazing to become so connected and familiar with the city of Charlotte, and it was an experience I will never forget.

Board Meeting
View from my internship building (Can you spot the Panther's Stadium?)
In the middle of the summer, I was chosen to attend the U. S. Women in Nuclear (WIN) National Conference in Chicago, IL at the end of July.  While attending the conference I learned A TON about the nuclear energy industry and how it relates to sustainability and the world’s future energy resources.  I shook so many hands and spoke to dozens of the most prominent individuals within the energy industry, including William D. Magwood, the commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Bill Fox, the Senior Vice President and Project Director of the new V.C. Summer Nuclear Power Plant in South Carolina.  I built friendships with fellow engineering students from across the county and made numerous connections with individuals within the nuclear industry which I hope to use as I look for careers in the future.
Had to try some Deep Dish Pizza
On top of the Willis (Sears) Tower
My awesome mentor and I

Now I am back at UNC Charlotte, and my first week of classes is over.  I am working as an Engineering Teaching Assistant and a residence hall Eco-Rep, so I know I will be keeping busy throughout the semester.  It is wonderful to be back in the Queen City and to see all of my classmates and roommates again.  Christie and I even celebrated our return to campus with a rainy day bike ride on the Greenway.

Muddy after a great bike ride!

A memorable summer has come to an end, and I am looking forward to all of the new and exciting things my Sophomore year has in store for me.

Talk to you all later!

- Kaitlyn