(Each year MTC hires summer help. The following article was prepared as a college application essay from one of them. Aaron Vanderhill is a Sr. Staff Engineer in our Geotechnical Department.)
Jake Van Zalen
Seasonal Employee – Summer 2013
BOOM! The concrete cylinder had just exploded, under the weight of over one hundred thousand pounds, as displayed by the screen. The numbers remained on the screen as I carefully scribbled them down onto the concrete compression report.
This summer I worked at Materials Testing Consultants, an engineering firm that has many clients across the state. One of the major things that this corporation does is test concrete, and I was an important part of that. The field technicians would go out to a jobsite, collect the concrete from the pour, and send it back for me to test to verify it met the strength specification.
In the late summer I was assigned the task of helping out with the coring that was being done on US- 31. While working on this job, I really got to know some of the employees better. Aaron, who I mainly worked with on the project, showed me hands-on how to set up the drill we used and how to operate it. He was truly a great member of the community and took the time to actually get to know me a little bit.
Overall, I was impressed with the community’s dedication towards serving their clients. When there was a shortage of workers at the beginning of the summer, quite a few of the employees gladly worked overtime to help out. It was an environment where the members thought of the community before themselves.
The important part about this community was that we all worked together to achieve a common goal, serving the client. This meant that if anyone needed a helping hand with his or her individual project, he or she was given one. It taught me an important lesson that K-12 didn’t: In the real world, almost everything is a group project.