Insights from “Job”-less Summer

Being a part of a co-operative education program back at the University of Guelph, I was expected and excited to get my first job over this summer. Unfortunately, coming from from a place where financial independence doesn’t really kick in until after college, my resume didn’t have any work experience on it.

Nevertheless, I applied for jobs. The constraints set by the idea of having to re-locate entirely for a summer and the lack of a “full G license” didn’t allow me to branch out as much as I should have for in my job search. Living alone far away from home, even in Canada, can be scary. I didn’t expand my job search locations beyond Guelph and came up empty on both jobs and offers.

“Never let location be a constraint on your job search. The perfect job is usually about two hours away by bus. Find a way.

– Harry

But this summer wasn’t a complete loss. I had the opportunity to intern at a environmental waste water management company in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman (The Middle East). Haya Water collects, treats and re-uses wastewater.

My two months of internship included brief but detailed insights into several functions of Haya Water:

  • Asset Management
  • Lab
  • Quality, Health & Safety
  • Waste Water Treatment facilities
  • Pumping Stations
  • Wetlands Management
  • Human Resources

As students, we study so much about so much. But when exams come around, we wonder,

“My work three years from now will have nothing to do with this stuff. Why am I studying this?”

Well, I finally got to see the application of things I learnt in school. Concepts of BOD, COD and reactors came into play at my time in the lab. The equipment used in calculating Biological Oxygen Demand (What is this sorcery?) for instance, blew my mind. Fluid Mechanics is a big part of setting up the waste water collection network for each locality with defined flows. Apparently, the collection includes three systems: Gravity, Pressurized and Vacuum. Each comes with its own benefits and installation costs.

I can’t thank everyone at Haya Water enough for guiding me in what I can only call a rich experience I will always cherish!

Another blog solely dedicated to the internship will follow. Stay tuned!

NOTE: It will be highly technical, you non-technical folks!

All in all, this summer taught me that there’s ways to make a summer productive. Getting a job is just another way of working on yourself. This internship meant a lot to me. It was the first exposure I had to the real world of environmental management business.

I’m sure as you read this, some of you already have a job. Bravo! But if you don’t, always remember this great quote I just made up:

“A paid job is a great way to have a productive summer. But it’s not the only way.”

 

 

 

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