January 31, 2008

Emily Bernzott ’10 Explores Environmental Problem-Solving

She served an externship with Joseph Heaney ’85, president of Walden Environmental Engineering PLLC

Emily Bernzott ’10 (Babylon, N.Y.) is a Marquis Scholar majoring in civil engineering. During the interim session, she spent five days with Joseph M. Heaney III ’85, the president of Walden Environmental Engineering PLLC, as a part of an externship program offered by Career Services. The following is a first-hand account of Bernzott’s experiences with the externship.

  • Joseph Heaney ’85 Reflects On Externship Opportunities for Students

During the week of Jan. 7, I had the pleasure of participating in an externship at Walden Environmental in Oyster Bay, N.Y. During the five-day experience, I learned how an environmental consulting firm operates from top to bottom. Basically, as is the case with all kinds of engineering, Walden designs ways to solve problems. In their case, these problems are related to the environment.

The most exciting part about the experience was getting out into the field to see Walden’s work in action; it was really cool to see engineering theory put to work. Most of the sites I visited were environmental clean-up sites, involving monitoring and bailing wells, and even more complicated systems such as air sparge systems. I also got a more in depth view of what an environmental site assessment is, after learning about it in Introduction to Environmental Engineering last semester.

My externship host, Joe Heaney ’85, who is the owner of Walden, was very enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge with me. It was really inspiring to meet a Lafayette graduate who is so successful and involved in the civil and environmental engineering field. He spoke a lot about marketing oneself and shared a lot of his experience in becoming a thriving member of the engineering and business world.

I also had the chance to speak with each of the employees about their role within the company. The week as a whole resulted in an overall personal reflection, more than just a reflection upon my future career. Even employees who were just out of college seemed so much more mature than two more years of college can make me.

I left Walden on Friday, Jan. 11, exhausted but also well informed. It is exciting, yet overwhelming to see what my life could be like after Lafayette.

  • Internships/Externships
  • Career Services
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering

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