A Day In The Life of an Intern
By Emily Ferreira
Being a Stormwater Intern comes with many responsibilities. Not only must you have proper training, but you must also have a select set of skills to complete each task at hand efficiently and effectively. Our job is important as we assist inspectors with reports, in water sampling and inspections. We are constantly learning and pushing ourselves to grow. Being an intern here at Tully Consulting Group is not like your stereotypical internship you’d see in a movie. Here we get hands-on experience working both in and out of the field.
Our office space is always bustling. Whether it’s the sound of the printer machine whirring or the sound of inspectors' boots coming in and out of the office, there is always something going on.
Throughout the year we have different responsibilities. As an intern, you learn how to write important documents that outline Best Management Practices (BMPs) for construction sites to keep our waterways clean. Assisting with preparing Water Pollution Control Plans (WPCPs), Dust Control Plans (DCPs), and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs), may seem daunting; however, they are very crucial to keeping contractors in compliance with water regulations which directly affects us and the environment. By helping prepare these environmental plans we directly influence the overall impact each construction site has on the environment by assessing the type of construction, determining the best methods to reduce negative impact, and implementing these plans by showing construction crews what BMPs are supposed to be used in important locations.
Going out in the field is also a big part of the Internship as we venture out to In-Water Work projects to provide sampling and monitoring while our clients work within a creek, river, or other waterways. We stay out in the field throughout the duration of construction during the day and take samples as specified in the permits. If we see anything on-site indicating water quality pollution, we communicate with the construction teams to problem solve and bring any exceedances to an acceptable range.
In addition to helping out with various reports and assessments, we also have the opportunity to shadow and work with the company engineers to help with design work, utilizing AutoCAD (computer-aided design) to create construction plans from scratch. This allows us the opportunity to think critically and creatively about challenges a site may be facing and what the most efficient and effective method of solving these problems could be. Once a solution is formed, we can then execute it digitally and create blueprints for construction crews to follow during the construction process.
While office work is a large component of interning at Tully Consulting Group, fieldwork is equally as available and important, producing a tangible impact on water quality not only at construction sites but also in surrounding areas as well. As interns, we get the opportunity to balance our time in the office and the field, allowing us insight into both aspects of the company’s work.
By Paulina Cobian
Prior to coming into Tully Consulting Group, I wanted to do something in life that would benefit the environment, and I found it here. Jumping from doing office work to fieldwork shows you how everything ties in together. All the reports, plans, and annual reports that we do throughout the year directly influence and impact the inspection routes and water quality monitoring that comes standard with fieldwork.
I still remember that rush of excitement that ran through my body when I was able to go out to the field with other inspectors. I strapped on my boots, zipped my safety vest, and put my hard hat on, ready to see what the life of an inspector is all about. I couldn’t help but name every single BMP item that I saw while writing out my WPCP’s as an office intern. The opportunity to interact with a construction site that I had helped design was a great way to show me that the work I was doing actually mattered and had a noticeable positive impact.
Going out to the field gives interns the opportunity to perform two types of jobs; one being water quality monitoring, and the other being site inspections. Water quality monitoring requires interns to sample the water's pH, turbidity, and sometimes even dissolved oxygen levels throughout the day to gauge if the site’s construction is having a negative impact on the overall quality of the water. Here we get to interact with the construction crew and contractor to both familiarize ourselves with the occurring construction, and to notify and work with them if our samples indicate their work is having a negative impact. Site inspections require visiting various construction sites and documenting any BMP items that are out of place while ensuring the site materials are being well managed and that the risk of harming the environment in and around the site is minimized. Both types of fieldwork keep you on your feet, keep your mind active, and benefit the environment around you!
By Lucas Russell
As students, we have the unique opportunity to intern with companies in fields we may be interested in working in post-graduation and Tully Consulting Group has given us all a place to explore our various interests. As a Civil Engineering major, I have always been interested in the betterment of the environment through sustainable engineering and construction practices, and TCG has given me the opportunity to witness and participate in both firsthand, making clear to me what I want from my career.
Whether my work entails writing reports for contractors detailing how to best adhere to environmental regulations, using industry-standard software to design projects, or working in the field alongside construction professionals to ensure water quality onsite, I have found that there are always new things to learn. The opportunity to prepare a WPCP for a construction site, use the construction plans to help design the site layout, and then going on-site to see the implementation of your designs is something that few other internships can offer students, making work at TCG an incredibly rewarding experience.
In addition to providing new work experiences, working for TCG has also taught me the value of good communication and collaboration, work ethic, scheduling and task management, and responsibility for myself and the work I do. Despite being an intern, you are treated as any regular employee, given individual responsibility, and being set free to tackle problems through methods of your choice. I can personally say that my time with Tully Consulting Group has shaped me into a more effective employee and has taught me the skills and lessons I will use throughout my life.
Even if your major isn’t engineering, as long as you have a passion for environmental protection, Tully Consulting Group can offer you a place to put your passions into effect in an engaging and educational environment. From working in an office with wonderful coworkers to monitoring water quality conditions up and down Northern California, each day at TCG brings something new and exciting, helping you understand the industry and how it can be a good fit for you. I know I have enjoyed working at TCG and I am sure you would too!