Summer Intern Series: Meet Carter Whitesell

Written by: Jesselyn Hamilton

Summer Intern, Carter Whitesell
Summer Intern, Carter Whitesell
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.

Carter Whitesell is a summer intern from Westminster, Colorado. He is currently studying Architectural Engineering at Oklahoma State University. Carter’s favorite project of his internship was a cathodic disbondment experiment which his mentor, Jessica Torrey, gave him and another intern the lead on.

When asked about the most challenging part of his experience, Carter mentioned his lack of background knowledge on subjects addressed in Reclamation’s work. He said, “My major has little to do with the work I have been given, thus, I have been forced to spend extra hours learning the subject in my own time in order to be prepared for what is expected of me here at Reclamation.”

That said, Carter was pleased with his experience overall. Through his cathodic disbondment experiment and his experience at Reclamation as a whole, Carter said he learned many things about scientific processes and specific skills, such as abrasive blasting and coating application. Moving forward, Carter will take with him lessons on professionalism, time management, and communication with both co-workers and supervisors.

When looking toward the future, Carter plans to continue schooling in Architectural Engineering through a Master’s Degree and potentially a Ph.D. as well. More specifically, he said, “I plan to specialize in substructures and mechanics. Hopefully I can then start a career in the industry, preferably on large scale structures such as office complexes.”

In terms of a career with Reclamation, Carter indicated that he was not truly considering it because the degree he is pursuing does not directly relate to Reclamation’s work. However, he noted that, “If I was offered a job at Reclamation utilizing my degree, I would accept it because I have enjoyed my time here this summer thanks to the work environment and the people who work here.”

When asked about Reclamation as an agency, Carter said, “Reclamation is important because of their role in both preserving natural resources and continually looking for better ways to meet their goal of managing water in the west, even as the needs change over time.”

Carter’s intern experiences will serve him well and provide him with an array of useful knowledge and tools as he progresses in his education. Reclamation is grateful for the opportunity to mentor young professionals who will play a significant role in shaping the future.

Published on August 17, 2017