Summer Intern Series: Meet Rachel Godard

Written by: Emily Quinn

Summer Intern, Rachel Godard
Summer Intern, Rachel Godard
The Bureau of Reclamation offers diverse internship opportunities for students interested in engineering, hydrology, biology, chemistry, geology, and much more. At Reclamation, we want to see college students land a job that will fulfill their interests.

Rachel Godard is a summer intern from Arvada, Colorado. She is getting ready to start college at the Colorado School of Mines with a focus on Mechanical Engineering.

She has spent her summer working in Reclamation’s Materials and Corrosion Laboratory under the mentorship of Chemist Bobbi Jo Merten and Materials Engineer Jessica Torrey.

Rachel has been enjoying the trust instilled upon her by her mentors. She and two other interns have had the opportunity to conduct their own cathodic disbondment experiment, which they set up entirely by themselves.

“We prepared all the structure samples through degreasing, sandblasting and coating them. Then we made the solutions that the structures would be in,” Rachel said. “All the wiring and soldering necessary was done by us as well. I got to have hands-on time the entire project and get a complete understanding of what was going on.”

Internships at Reclamation mimic real-life work experience. Throughout her internship experience, Rachel has learned a great deal about the value of communication. Her mentors conducted regular “Professional Growth Meetings” with her to help facilitate some of these lessons about communication and professionalism in the workplace.

Other lessons include opportunities to learn new skills of the engineering trade. Rachel says, “I have learned how to sandblast and coat metal samples. I have learned how to run electrochemical impedance spectroscopy tests which is something I didn’t know existed until two months ago!”

Rachel is hoping to one day land a leadership role in the engineering field, thanks in part to what she’s learned from her summer internship. Her plan is to continue honing her communication, professional, technical, and laboratory skills as she works toward her degree.

Reclamation’s summer internships provide a safe and supportive space for students to develop their academic areas of focus. Similar to standard worklife, students in these internship roles face challenges presented by their projects. Mentors give students the tools and guidance necessary to formulate solutions to challenges, and inspire students to develop efficient problem-solving skills.

Summer internships at Reclamation cater to a wide array of student interests. Rachel is planning to pursue her PhD in Biomechanical Engineering once she completes her Undergraduate degree. She says, “I wish to specialize [in] biomechanical projects. With a background in biomechanical, I hope to use my schooling to create functioning prosthetic limbs and/or organs.”

Rachel’s experiences throughout her summer internship will provide her with an array of useful knowledge and tools as she progresses toward her education and career goals. Reclamation is grateful for the opportunity to mentor young professionals of whom will play a significant role in shaping future generations.

Summer Intern, Rachel Godard
Summer Intern, Rachel Godard

Published on August 03, 2017