Monthly Archives: September 2019

Angela: How I Got My Internship

How I Got My Internship

By Angela Z.

When I was searching for internships, I relied heavily on the weekly e-mails that contained information on internship, job, and department updates. Hayley sent out an e-mail one week with an invitation to WA Department of Labor & Industries (LNI) information session and interview. At first I was hesitant to sign up due to a conflicting class, but I was able to sign up for the interview without attending the information session. I knew this put me at a bit of a disadvantage against my colleagues, so before my interview I poked around on the LNI website to learn more about the organization. The occupational health and safety classes at the UW had also mentioned LNI so I felt that I had some general background information about the organization as a whole.

During the interview, I was surprised at how conversational it was. I was asked none of the questions that I had prepared for and although I had a shaky answer to, “what do you know about industrial hygiene,” we finished the interview on an open dialogue about worker safety and our personal stories related to the subject. I was able to express how much I learned from and enjoyed the safety classes at UW, which is one side of compliance safety and health.

One piece of advice I have for future students is to sign up for any opportunity that comes up. Especially the employer visits because you have a better chance at getting to know the organization and the staff on a more personal level. This also includes the site visit field trips that are hosted by the department because it is also a good chance to network and inquire about internship opportunities. It is also generally important to keep an open mind and apply for any opportunity that sounds interesting to you!

How I Got My Internship by Brisia P.

How I Got My Internship

By Brisia P.

Unlike most of my classmates, I did not have an internship ready for the summer by
spring quarter, and not for lack of trying. I began applying to internships at the beginning of 2018, hoping to secure an internship between my junior and senior year. I had a few interviews that did not pan out. I stopped applying in Spring 2018 and began again in Autumn. Flash forward, it is April of 2019, I am supposed to be graduating, and still had no idea where I would be in Summer. It was not until June 5th that I was finally offered an internship.
For me, managing the job search was difficult, it was discouraging and made me believe that no one wanted me. I exhausted all my resources, receiving 15 emails a day from 5 different job sites, including Indeed, Glassdoor, Neuvoo, Careerbuilder, etc. The internship I decided to take, I found on Portal (DEOHS website). The entire search was less than ideal and not nearly what I expected.
However, in my struggle to find an internship, I gained a lot of experience: I am less afraid of
first interviews, I can write a cover letter in a timely manner, I can tailor my resume as needed,
and I appreciate my internship opportunity more.
To future students, my internship search was not the common experience shared by most students. Many will find an internship they enjoy and not have to worry. However, for the
few unlucky souls, like me, this can be extremely stressful and scary. I urge you to start early
and continue to apply even if it seems nothing is working. Another tip is to seek help, let people
know you are looking for an internship, and cold email people in a place you would like to work. Also, look to Hayley and Tania for assistance, they are there for a reason. Ultimately, for me, things worked out really well, but Brisia from three months ago wouldn’t have thought so. Getting an internship, like most anything in life, is not easy and requires a lot of hard work and dedication.

Justine’s NEPHIP Internship

Justine’s NEPHIP Internship

By Justine M.

This summer I have been interning with the environmental health team at the Transylvania Public Health department in Brevard, NC.

My work there was diverse and fulfilling, ranging from helping create public education materials and programs, to helping manage a transition towards a new environmental monitoring IT program. Being in a community like Brevard allowed me to explore a wide range of environmental and public health programs. In addition to working with the Environmental Health team, I had the opportunity to shadow the epidemiology and disaster preparedness teams. It was insightful to see firsthand how all these departments interact and work together to promote public health. Although our coursework in DEOHS definitely emphasizes the different branches that contribute to and build-off of environmental health, it was eye-opening to see them all in one building, tackling health issues within the community.

DEOHS student and Transylvania Public Health intern Justine, doing vector-borne illness education and public outreach at a community festival.

One of the most rewarding parts of this program was being able to work in a location where the most pertinent environmental health issues weren’t necessarily always the same as on the west coast. With a different environment come different environmental health hazards.

Some of my favorite experiences included getting fitted for N95 masks, going to county events where our team interacted with community members, shadowing establishment inspections,  and learning about and identifying mosquito species in the laboratory.

In my eyes, the most important part of this internship program is the relationships you establish with the communities you represent, the team members you work with, and the mentors you shadow.

My Internship at the Department of Labor & Industries

My Internship at the Department of Labor & Industries

By Francis K.

I am currently interning with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries hygiene compliance team in Region 3 (Pierce, Kitsap, Jefferson, Clallam Counties). My day to day activities include inspecting regional workplaces, scheduling interviews with employees, and creating sampling plans that may assist with inspections. For example, if we need to do noise exposure monitoring I have to know what time the employers’ work shift starts so I can make sure our noise dosimeters are calibrated and fully charged.

Francis calibrates a 3M Edge EG5 Noise dosimeter for future noise sampling

The most important skill needed in this workplace is being able to communicate clearly and effectively all while maintaining composure and being professional. We routinely work with employers that can be hostile, which is understandable as they can incur serious fines. I always tell the employer that the compliance teams aren’t out to get them, but we are only there to make sure that the employer is running a business that is safe and effective.

The support system here at Labor and Industries is amazing. In my office alone you are combining 90+ years of experience between five employees.

It is important when you first get into an internship to make as many connections as possible. This includes reaching out to other sections, and finding somebody you can consult with in case a question arises. It is also important to find a mentor who will help guide you through your internship, and can give you criticism on what you need to work on and what you are doing as an intern to make the most out of your experience.

Overall, I would recommend interning at L&I to any Environmental Health undergraduate wanting to learn more about industrial hygiene and the Washington Administrative Codes that  business owners have to abide by.