Terian Garner ’20 Hammond City Hall – This past summer has opened a gateway to success for me. The internship I took part in, Hammond City Engineering, at Hammond City Hall, helped me connect with a tremendous amount of people.  While I worked in my hometown’s city hall, I connected with some very knowledgeable people. They were from all types of fields. I was introduced to architects, electricians, councilmen, and mayors. They all shared a piece of wisdom with me, some even displayed their work to me. The networking that took place in the office I was stationed in was amazing. Everyday someone new would come in and I would be introduced as a part of the new generation who will take their place someday. I realized the people I worked with took their job seriously because it was their passion.

Taking a moment away from the people that was outside the office, the people I worked with every day was some of the most encouraging, patient, and helpful coworkers I have ever had. They sat down and worked with me until I understood all of my assignments. The atmosphere I was in had a very positive vibe. Therefore, communication was never a problem when working with them. To this day, I keep in contact with them, even though it has been a few weeks since the internship ended. They have even offered me a chance to comeback as an intern. I want to thank them for this, and the Mellon Grant for even making this opportunity possible.

The work I was responsible for involved tons of data entry into excel, communicating with anyone who had question or called into our office with some concerns. Another job I had was to make observations on streets, signs, sidewalks, and lights around our city. The most difficult thing for me was communicating with the residents of Hammond, Indiana. There were residents who would call just looking for information on current and future projects in the area, and there were residents who called and complained about their sidewalks and streets not being presentable and habitable. This is where the job became difficult. Since we have a budget to repair sidewalks and streets, it’s hard to fix everyone’s problems. At times, we might get at least 10 complaints a day. The complaints of course are respected and we try our best to get right on it, but some assignments take time. A lot of cases people don’t understand that. Some people it might be a hazard to handicap, or to an elder or a bad spot in the school zone. Therefore, every request is priority, but residents sometimes can be impatient or misunderstanding. It took me a while to adjust and understand where each person was coming from, but eventually I did and I’m grateful to have had the ability to deal with people the way I did.

This summer has provided me with some of the greatest opportunities I have ever had, and this is because of the works of the Mellon Grant. I really cherished this summer and experienced so much more a sophomore in college could have asked for.