As summer comes to an end, we sat down with our intern, Hannah Allen, to pick her brain about her time here at The Wooten Company. We are so excited that she will be continuing to work with us as she heads back to NC State this fall and we can't wait to see how she uses the experience she has gained here to help communities in the future!
What’s the biggest thing you’re going to take away from your internship?
The knowledge and experience I have gained from my internship are priceless! I have loved seeing what I’ve learned in school come to life in real-world applications at The Wooten Company. In the same way, I am excited to use the knowledge I’ve gained this summer to better understand my coursework and professors in my classes this year!
What was something that surprised you during your internship?
I was surprised to see so much variation and diversity within in the types of projects and the employee backgrounds. From building water resources engineering to hydraulic modeling to construction oversight, I have seen so many aspects of engineering all in one company! I have loved seeing how a group of people, all with different skills, assets, and experiences, work together to create the best possible solution for a client, all on strict time and money constraints. I had never really thought about how many different people have to work together to finish a project.
Has your internship changed your view on anything?
It may seem silly, but I definitely feel more open to working with sewage treatment. It has actually been really interesting to learn about all of the different parts in wastewater treatment plants and how they all work together to properly remove contaminants and treat water. Wastewater treatment will always be a challenge faced by any community, so understanding how the industry works now is necessary to make innovations and improvements in the future.
How is it being a woman in a male-dominated field?
Being a minority in this industry was a little scary at first, but my passion for solving problems and learning has made me more confident in a male-dominated environment. It has also been great to see other young, female engineers here at The Wooten Company pursue their dreams and achieve their goals, which inspires me to be the best I can be. Hopefully, I can also inspire younger girls who enjoy STEM fields but are worried about being the only girl in a class of boys. I think it is extremely important to address the gender gap in engineering, specifically by empowering young girls through education and giving them the confidence to do whatever they want to do.
What was the most challenging part of your internship?
In my classes, problems always have clear-cut assumptions, conditions, and solutions, but in the real world, problems aren’t nearly that easy. At first, it was difficult for me to decide how to solve open-ended problems, but my internship at The Wooten Company has taught me to be more flexible and adaptive in finding solutions.