What is the difference between a high and low temperature superconductor? Why are T8 fluorescent lamps superior to their T12 counterparts? What is the Smart Grid and why do we need it? Two and a half months ago I would not have the faintest idea how to answer any of these questions. Yet, as I near the conclusion of my time as the communications intern I am left with not only the answers to these questions but a distinct curiosity inspiring countless more.

This blog will not address current events in the electrical industry but rather my experience as an intern working inside it for the first time.

I came to NEMA from the University of California- Santa Barbara; located just 100 miles north of Los Angeles, where I am preparing to begin my fourth year as a communication major, minoring in both sports management and professional writing. At first, working from a communication background at NEMA was a lot like living as a Santa Barbara student in Washington D.C. I had to deal with things new and unknown to me, yet I adapted to my situation and quickly realized the benefits of the unique opportunity I had been given.

My atypical internship experience was characterized by an abundance of substantial work assignments including authoring blogs, podcasts, articles and press releases; organizing projects, conducting research and attending various meetings. In other words, delivering coffee and lunch has not represented a part of my daily duties here at NEMA. And while my food and beverage delivery skills may not have been put to the test over the course of this summer, I have undoubtedly developed a distinct aptitude for more constructive office work.

With no semblance of experience in the field of electrical manufacturing, I turned to research and the assistance of other NEMA staff members in order to establish the understanding needed to produce intelligent, worthwhile material. In doing so, I picked up an invaluable skill, extinguishing any doubts about my ability to excel in a wide variety of different industries.

In two weeks time I will return to the sun and surf of Santa Barbara having experienced a summer of the east coast lifestyle and a taste of the electrical manufacturing industry. Will I revisit either? Almost certainly, but for now I plan to conclude my time at UCSB with the new found knowledge that I may someday pursue a career outside its boundaries.


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