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Allow us to introduce our second intern:

Tristin Diaz!

Tristin is a rising sophomore at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) majoring in Civil Engineering.

Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA which is where Total-Western is located for their work in Division 502.

How did you decide on your university for school?

UCLA has a great engineering program, and with its size comes many opportunities. There are endless clubs and programs that can help my development toward becoming a working engineer as well as a plethora of networking opportunities. I knew that a large school within California would be the best fit for me, as well as provide me the opportunity to be exposed to a large, diverse student body.

How did you decide on your major? Why are you interested in pursuing a career in construction?

My curiosity in construction and its various disciplines was sparked when my older sister went to college to study mechanical engineering. While in high school, I applied and was accepted into Project Lead the Way, a four-year engineering program in which I was exposed to different kinds of engineering and was taught valuable skills. Once I began to gain some knowledge within the program, I was certain that engineering was what I wanted to pursue. After more research, I found that I could help to make a positive difference within my work as a civil engineer by working for companies with the goal of developing more sustainable practices and partnering with clients that share this same objective.

What initially interested you about the Total-Western Internship Program?

Living in Bakersfield, I was aware of Total-Western’s presence within the community which initially intrigued me. In doing more research, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Total-Western has taken strides to find and work with clients whose focus is on creating sustainable products and solutions. I was also interested in the large variety of work that Total-Western does and was excited to have the possibility of being exposed to many kinds of jobs within the construction industry.

How’s it going so far?

I feel very fortunate to be involved in this internship and feel as though I have gotten so much valuable knowledge thus far. The project I’m working on is about to kick off and I have been involved every step of the way, which I am extremely appreciative of that. The company culture has also been great, and I have enjoyed getting to meet and know everyone.

What are you enjoying most?

I have enjoyed getting to sit in on the meetings as the project gets started. I came into this internship with little to no knowledge after only completing my first year of college, so being fully immersed into the beginning stages of a project has been eye-opening and I am gaining experience that most of my peers have not yet had exposure to.

Which job site are you currently at?

I have been placed on the Heliogen project. The project is still getting up off the ground, so I’ve been gaining additional experience by traveling to other customer sites around the Bakersfield area.

What do you hope to gain by the time your internship concludes?

By the end of my summer internship, I am just hoping to have absorbed as much knowledge as possible. Most of what I have seen here has been completely new to me and I am excited to see what else I am able to do and learn before the internship concludes.

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We’re excited to see what else you will learn and do as well! We’ll check back with Tristin in a few weeks.