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This summer was the first summer I didn’t start off by going home. I stayed on campus summer housing since I was hired by SoCal Gas as a 12-week summer intern for the Downtown L.A office. Before my internship had started, I was nervous and wasn’t sure what to expect since this was my first time working for a large utility corporation, differing from some of the smaller company internship work I had done in the past.

I immediately noticed when it was my first in-office day how welcoming everyone was and how my teammates were going out of their way to make time to train me and meet with me. During my time as an intern, I worked in Gas Engineering for the Pipeline Design team where I learned about pipeline stress analysis and reviewing piping designs for different regions for pressure testing, code compliance, and material acceptability. After discussing with my supervisor about what my future goals are, I was also given the opportunity to support with some projects in the Civil/Structural Engineering team where I was introduced to the AISC Steel and ASCE 7-16 manuals and learned how to read structural drawings.

After what felt like a while of not seeing any other interns in the office, I finally noticed other interns trickling in one by one after a few weeks. Through company intern events, and overlapping days at the company tower, I was able to meet a lot of interns and become friends with them. During overlapping days when everyone was at the tower, we would make plans to try new places during our lunch breaks and explore more of downtown L.A.

Some of my favorite finds this summer in downtown L.A was Philz Coffee (or all the coffee lovers out there, they don’t charge for milk substitutions!), the Grand Central Market Pupuseria, the underground food court off of Flower Street and 5th Street, and the most interesting of all was Rama Thai, a restaurant in the basement of a jewelry mall that is cash only, a somewhat long wait, but some of the most delicious Thai food I’ve had, and as someone who eats Thai food a lot trust me! It was fresh, full of flavor, and served hot out of the kitchen. The process of finding this little basement restaurant was an adventure in itself, as myself and the other interns tried figuring out which of the 4 jewelry malls around us was the one with this mysterious basement.

Outside of the office, I spent my weekends exploring Joshua tree, Santa Monica with my summer housemate, hiked with friends, and enjoyed my time relaxing. One of my favorite hikes was a trail located in Malibu, called the Escondido trail which featured two beautiful waterfalls. During my downtime, I liked to relax by finding new T.V shows to watch and de-stressing at the gyms on campus.

Once my internship ended, I spent the last two weeks of summer before school started at home in Texas and visiting my extended family and grandmother in Toronto.

Looking forward, I am excited that I will be extending my internship into the school year, which I have already seen the benefits of when it comes to finding value and practical applications to structural engineering concepts I am currently learning this semester. I greatly enjoyed having the experience of working this summer as a full-time intern and learning about how to maintain work-life balance, because it gave me a lot of insight into what my day-to-day life might look like in the future as well as all the amazing people I got to meet this summer.

Salma Mohamed

MAJOR: Civil Engineering (Building Science) YEAR: Class of 2025 HOMETOWN: Austin,Texas PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: I am currently involved in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) as a Student Transfer Representative. SHPE is an organization that empowers engineering students that identify as Hispanic to develop networking skills and leadership. Outside of SHPE, I am a part time intern for SoCal Gas in the Pipeline Engineering Design team.