My name is Matteo Patzy and I am currently a Senior and studying mechanical engineering. When I was searching for internships for the summer of 2021, I found a position that interested me. I decided to apply, and managed to perform well in two interviews, thanks to my experiences and the professional practice that I have had in CSS. I successfully earned this position as a Data Analyst Intern – in the Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure Sector – at a consulting company called Guidehouse. This would be my first internship; it was something that I looked forward to greatly as I jumpstarted my professional career.
The internship lasted for two months, and it was entirely virtual. The initial phase of the internship consisted of a week of training. During this week, I learned much about the company policies, the specifics of my role as an intern, and practiced using job-specific tools – Microsoft Excel, Workday, clocking-in, etc. For the duration of the internship, I was paired with a project manager, who would oversee my work, and a “buddy” who I could ask questions and talk to. This mentorship-employee structure reminded me greatly of the mentoring system that we have in CSS. I formed a solid relationship with my project manager from weekly check-in meetings, in which he provided great feedback and information to me throughout the summer. As with regards to my job, I completed five projects during my internship experience. These projects consisted of client work for utility companies such as ComEd and projects with Guidehouse regarding internal development. I worked with many different Guidehouse employees during these projects, which allowed me to see many different sides of the company. Something that I enjoyed about the online format was the flexibility with which I could do my work. With the exception of scheduled intern events, I was able to do my work at my pace and decide when I would start and end each day. Something I greatly enjoyed from this internship was that I was given access to a wealth of information in online learning courses. These courses consisted of learning project management, the basics of client work, and how to be a successful consultant. As an engineer, these videos were a great way to introduce me to a more business-oriented career. As such, I learned a lot during my internship, and have since considered doing similar work in the future.
I had a very successful internship experience with Guidehouse and left a strong impression on my manager. This led to the company offering me a full-time position upon graduating UMD, which I expect to accept and start in 2022. Something valuable that I learned from my internship is that by trying new things and being open to opportunities – opportunities which could be outside your major or loosely related to it – you can get the chance to be introduced to a “new world,” which leads to very interesting and engaging work. Another thing that I learned is that networking is extremely important. As a result of the bond that I formed with my co-workers, I was able to get in touch with many people across the company. Finding a mentor and asking for feedback, in order to gauge your performance and progress, are also important things to do in order to have a successful internship/career experience. I greatly appreciate CSS for providing me great practice in several professional skills such as group collaboration, building my personal brand, working in a professional environment, and networking with others, which contributed greatly to my success this past summer, and ultimately to my future job after graduation.