Summer Intern Chronicles: Emma Brimdyr from Worcester Polytech

Intern with Dennis DPW, working on Regional Glass Depot project...
Emma Brimdyr from Worcester Polytech is working in Dennis on the Regional Glass Depot project...

This is part of a continuing series of "Summer Intern Chronicles" that Cape Cod Today will publish throughout the season.  Many local college students undertake internship experiences during summer break.  These internships can truly form a young person as a professional in their chosen career path.  For many, the internship is their first work experience in the career they hope to pursue.  These internship stories are intended to give the students an opportunity to share their experiences, showcase the work of their sponsoring organization and put in a plug for their college.  The stories are written in the students' own words and published verbatim as submitted.  

If your Cape & Islands or Plymouth organization hosts summer interns and you'd like them to participate, please email [email protected] and we will send you the project guidelines

Emma Brimdyr from Worcester Polytechnic Institute 

 

My name is Emma Brimdyr, and I am a senior at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and a local Dennis resident. I’m studying Mechanical Engineering and Society, Technology and Policy, but my true passions lay in the sustainability field. In May the Dennis Solid Waste and Recycling Committee (SWRC) and the Department of Public Works (DPW) asked me to take on the project of starting a Regional Glass Depot to support all municipalities on the Cape and Islands.

Massachusetts is struggling to recycle glass due to the recent closing of end markets. Because of this, facilities are shutting down and costs are rising. I was tasked to help find a regional solution, so that glass may be pulverized, turned into an aggregate similar to rock and reused on Cape Cod for municipal construction projects. I found the project all completely captivating. I enjoyed being able to follow the project from the early stages to its pending implementation.  Each week was something new. Through researching different ways to pulverize glass and what to do with an end product, to contacting and meeting up with different companies, I was able to understand the cost and benefits of each system, and to hear more senior feedback from the Committee and DPW. This project taught me how many ideas one must consider before moving on, and how important it is to get everyone’s continuous feedback.

I was also able to consider a variety of different potential jobs. I helped co-ordinate meetings with non-profits, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), and DPWs across Cape Cod. This gave me a better grasp on the different sectors, and the different jobs people have. That is something I encourage all college students to look at – who are you interacting with and what are you looking to do after college. I know I’ve been able to narrow it down more as the summer progresses.

In addition to doing a project on Cape, I’m also completing a project in off Cape close to Boston. I’ve found that I much prefer summers on the Cape. The temperature is better, a beach is within 5 minutes, there’s good ice cream, there are so many things to do… But in addition to that, the Cape Cod community is very unique. Everyone is very familiar with one another, and is willing to discuss both problems they’ve encountered and solutions very openly. The Dennis SWRC and DPW have also re-taught me the importance of giving everyone their credit, and making sure to say thank you. This is something that is often forgotten about in a school environment, but watching this group in meetings point out how everyone contributed has inspired me to strive to thank people, and credit others more.

In terms of looking for a college internship, I’d recommend that students reach out beyond the normal internships and see what is happening in their town. Working as an intern for the SWRC, and the DPW has given me insight into how Cape Cod functions, and allowed me to work on a really interesting and very different summer project. This project has cemented for me that I want to be working in the sustainable field, and working with a variety of people to implement new ideas.


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