Interns bring diverse perspective to CAP business

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Central Arizona Project Interns

Most CAP employees are seasoned professionals with many years of experience under their belts. So, what happens when you bring interns into the mix? It can be magic – infusing a fresh perspective, unique ideas, and infectious energy.

This year, six interns were hired to work in five different departments for approximately 11 weeks. Each student has to be enrolled in a two or four-year university and completed at least two years of higher education. Two interns were selected as part of CAP’s tribal internship program, an outreach effort for students who are an enrolled member of a federally recognized Native American Tribe.

The internships are not for the faint of heart; students work four 10-hour days alongside a mentor. But the ones employed by CAP are eager to jump in and learn in a hands-on environment.

CAP Intern Megan Mestrich
CAP Intern Carmen Joe
CAP Intern Sam Sneed

Cate Morenzoni, who is pursuing her master’s in data science at the University of Miami, said she decided to do an internship to put into practice what she’d learned in the classroom.

“There can be a gap between academic knowledge and the real world, and I wanted to learn how to navigate that,” Morenzoni said.

And her contributions are equally valuable to CAP. Her mentor, GIS Program Administrator Glenn Emanuel, said that because Cate has a background in data science, she often sees GIS issues from a different perspective and asks questions that haven’t been thought of.

Carmen Joe, who is pursuing a degree in construction management technology at Coconino Community College, said she is taking the opportunity to learn as much as possible in her field and hopes to learn more about relationships between CAP and other Tribes as well as innovative drip technology that is used by some Tribes.

For Purvish Upadhyay, who is pursuing his master’s degree in construction management and technology at Arizona State University, he sees the internship as an opportunity to hone his skills and believes the experience will mold him in the right ways.

“This work is unique because of the number of different types of projects that need to be planned, scheduled, executed and closed out successfully in the given time duration which requires attention to detail, precise coordination and control and ability to work as a team for the common goal,” said Upadhyay.

Christina Collins, senior industrial hygienist, mentors intern Sam Sneed who attends the University of Arizona. She said he brought a fresh perspective and also took the time to explore CAP’s industrial hygiene components and implement some new tools that improve efficiency.  

“I really appreciate that introducing our programs to a fresh set of eyes allows me to take a closer look at them myself from a new perspective,” said Collins. “I also feel that it’s important we give back to our professional communities by mentoring and training the next generation that will be stepping into the workforce.”

These six interns come from different schools, have different backgrounds and different educational goals to add to their experience. In the process, their contributions, fresh perspectives, unique ideas, and infectious energy often change the viewpoint of seasoned professionals.

CAP’s 2022 interns:

Callie EdgewaterCallie Edgewater, Analytics and Information Management, pursing bachelor’s degree in engineering, environmental engineering at ASU

“I hope to build on my ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, so that I can apply engineering fundamentals to draw conclusions. I also hope to improve my communication and analysis skills and to become familiar with workplace culture in the industry.”

Carmen JoeCarmen Joe, Lands & Survey, pursuing construction management technology at Coconino Community College

“I took a surveying class this past spring semester and it sparked an interest in land management and surveying. Working with the Lands and Survey Department helps put what I’ve learned so far through school into practice. While working, I get to see how they all perform their jobs and how they interconnect with each other to make the dream work.”

Megan Mestrich

Megan Mestrich, Contact & Procurement, pursing a degree in operation supply chain management and marketing at the University of Arizona

“I am hoping to use this internship as an opportunity to experience the procurement aspect of supply chain management and get a deeper understanding of how to develop, solicit, and administer contract documents. Along with that I am excited to work one-on-one with my mentors and grow as a young professional.”

Cate Morenzoni

Cate Morenzoni, Analytics and Information Management/GIS, pursuing master’s degree in data science at University of Miami

“One thing I think is unique about CAP is the company culture. Everyone I’ve met has gone out of their way to be welcoming and kind, which is not something you find at a lot of companies. Another unique thing about CAP is the nature of the work. Water is crucial, especially in Arizona. I feel very lucky to be contributing to such important work.”

Sam Sneed

Sam Sneed, Environmental, Health & Safety, pursuing master’s degree in environmental & occupational health with a track in industrial hygiene at the University of Arizona

“CAP is offering an experience unlike any other. I like that I can learn about industrial hygiene and safety at the same time. I am impressed with CAP’s friendly, driven, and professional culture. It is something that I have never seen at any other workplace. I don’t think I could have selected a better place to complete my internship!”

Purvish Upadhyay

Purvish Upadhyay, Maintenance Planning, pursuing master’s degree in construction management and technology at ASU

“The internship will help me apply academic knowledge into action upon the real time projects. It will also help me to understand about the process, how things work and how the challenges and constraints are mitigated during the project life cycle to ensure the project success.  I really wish to learn and chisel my skills necessary for Planning, Scheduling, Coordination, Project Management and Commission the multiple projects like at CAP and be successfully able to deliver and meet the objectives of the company/department I work for.”