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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Going beyond the classroom

Civil+engineering+senior+Geoffrey+Giannone%26%23160%3Bhad+an+internship+as+a+materials+engineering+intern+for+Terracon%2C+an+engineering+firm+based+out+of+Olathe%2C+Kansas.
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Civil engineering senior Geoffrey Giannone had an internship as a materials engineering intern for Terracon, an engineering firm based out of Olathe, Kansas.

From exploring high-rise construction sites to working in Sen. John McCain’s office, Aggies dedicated their summers to unforgettable internships around the country.
Beginning May 2018, civil engineering senior Geoffrey Giannone, mechanical engineering senior Stanley Tong and agriculture communications and journalism graduate Taylor Rogers left home and settled into intern programs to form a unique understanding of their future and gain exposure to prospective careers.
Giannone was a materials engineering intern at the consulting engineering firm Terracon. Giannone’s day would begin with observing construction sites in Austin.
“One day during a 50 feet deep drilling operation, I was able to obtain a sample of the volcanic sediment from beneath Austin called Pilot Knob,” Giannone said. “My favorite memory was definitely getting to go to the top of the Independent, the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi River. You have to ride on a buck hoist, which is a temporary elevator on the outside of the building.”
In three months, Giannone said he realized he had a real affinity for structural design.
“I have a whole new appreciation for construction and materials consulting,” Giannone said. “It definitely showed me what all goes into building everything you see around you, and I feel like this information could make me a much better designer.”
Surrounded by innovative technology, Tong worked at Toyota Motor North America in Plano.
“I got to see and do some stuff with a few really cool cars that haven’t been released yet,” Tong said. “The campus reminds me very much of the new Zachry building. There was a super nice two story gym with a rock wall, a Japanese snack store, five Starbuckses, a Walmart with a functional pharmacy, a small museum and a bunch more. I was really blown away by the campus.”
Compared to manufacturing environments, Tong said the corporate lifestyle allowed for a new and transformative perspective.
“My favorite memory was getting all four of my designs signed off for fabrication [and] purchasing by senior management,” Tong said.
Building on her innate interest for politics, Rogers was part of the final intern cohort for McCain in Washington, D.C. From serving coffee to giving a tour to an Australian diplomat, Rogers said every part of her internship was integral and momentous to her experience.
“Interns are definitely at the bottom of the barrel, but I didn’t care,” Rogers said. “We answered phone calls from constituents and we got some crazy callers. We really got a taste of what it was like to work for the public. McCain’s policy was that every piece of mail and every phone call would be answered. He was adamant in knowing that he was there to serve the people.”
According to Rogers, the interns attended a lecture series with guest speakers such as Ben Carson, FBI director Christopher Wray and Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan.
“There was a moment when I was sitting in on a meeting with the assistant director of the department of agriculture from Vietnam,” Rogers said. “I was just sitting there in that room, and I realized that this is where it’s all happening. Why would you want to be anywhere else when you can be a part of the conversation that is changing laws and regulations for the country? It was an ‘aha’ moment.”
Rogers said her experience in McCain’s office provided immense perspective.
“I realized what it means to work on the hill, what an honor it is, and what it means to walk through the halls every day and know what history happened there,” Rogers said. “If walls could talk, what amazing things would be said.”

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