News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Interns get experience in tech field
Jun 20, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer
Cedric Bennett and Eric Fabrizius aren't typical summer interns.
Sure, their jobs are filled with challenges they might not have faced in a college classroom, but the two spend their days doing more than just grabbing coffee for their boss.
Bennett, 22, grew up in Riverton and is studying chemistry at the University of Wyoming. After learning about an internship position at Precision Analysis from his dad, who works in the oil field, Bennett decided to apply. He got a call back to start work for the summer.
"I have enjoyed the fact that I pretty much get to work without constant supervision," Bennett said. "In a classroom I am able to learn, but the internship really allows me to practice what I am learning and figure out the most effective ways to accomplish certain tasks."
Wearing a navy blue laboratory coat and safety glasses, Bennett spends his days performing multiple tasks for Precision Analysis, including proficiency testing, which involves repeated analysis of the same samples and comparing results.
The key requirements of the comparisons are that the samples be stable and verified so appropriate testing can display similarities and differences in the results.
"The first couple of weeks I was paired up with someone else to kind of learn the ropes," Bennett said. "Now, I work by myself, and I have had to learn quickly that if something doesn't turn out right that I have to redo it and try it again."
Bennett said the responsibility has been enjoyable and appreciates the experience in the field he plans to pursue.
"Once you figure out the kinks, you prove you can do something. You get more responsibility, which is the coolest part of the whole experience," Bennett said.
Bennett would like to stay in Wyoming after graduation, perhaps starting his career in the same town he grew up.
"I realize a lot of people like to move away when they graduate, but for me it really is about finding a place in my field of study that will allow me to what I would like," Bennett said. "Wyoming has a lot of job opportunities in oil, gas and mining, so I could definitely pursue something in my field."
Bennett works at Precision Analysis five days a week from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The internship has changed his view of lab work.
"I have really learned what it means to work," Bennett said. "Plus, this looks really good on a resume."
Fabrizius, 23, is studying chemical engineering at the University of Wyoming. He has interned for Precision Analysis for three years.
"Being in a laboratory is awesome and allows you to use equipment that you wouldn't otherwise be able to use in the classroom," Fabrizius said. "This is definitely not a boring job."
Fabrizius said it was because of his internships with the company that he decided to pursue a career in chemical engineering.
"I majored in math and pre-engineering at (Central Wyoming College) and decided that chemical engineering was something I wanted to do, so I enrolled at the University of Wyoming," Fabrizius said.
Fabrizius works every day and often goes into the field to collect samples which he brings back to the lab for testing.
"A lot of oil companies need their soil tested, and I am learning how to do that," Fabrizius said.
Fabrizius said his internship has allowed him to learn in ways that go much deeper than the classroom, and now he has a lot of hands-on experience in the field he is interested in.
"Without the internship I wouldn't be able to practice what I am being taught by my professors," Fabrizius said.