Steven Thomas ’24 — I would like to thank the WLAIP program for funding my internship and Dr. Pittard and Dr. Horton for teaching me and other WLAIP students about internships and what it means to be a Wabash man. I would like to especially thank Roy Kaplan for helping me find the right internship for me. He helped set me up with specific contacts and gave me ideas of who I could talk to. This lead me to brainstorm ideas for doing an internship in my own town.
I had a very interesting internship that might have been different than others. I spent eight weeks in the summer working with the town of Danville. Every week I was with a different department of the town learning and helping with work. I have done everything from tar roofs to going on a ride-along with the police and fire department. The departments I was with were Danville water, wastewater, public works, treasury, admin office, police, fire, and parks. My time with admin was spent in important meetings such as the traffic committee talking about the plans to create new roads. It was a great opportunity to learn about the future of the town and where it’s going. When it came to the water department, I learned how the water gets to the people and the chemical tests needed to make sure the water is healthy for consumption. I also spent time reading water meters and flushing hydrants. With wastewater, I learned how the plant is maintained and all the extensive tests needed to be done to make sure the water is safe for the environment. I spent time there helping tar the roof of one of their buildings and helping clean lift stations of anything that is not liquid. When it came to public works, I learned how to locate water, sewer, and gas lines. I spent a lot of time there helping put in stop bars and other labor jobs. With treasury, I learned how the town organizes the citizens’ money. I spent most of that week with the Danville Chamber of Commerce helping to bring business to Danville. During my time with the police, I spent every day on a ride-along observing the police doing their work. With fire, I did the same. Some days I would be with Medic on an ambulance and some days on Engine. I even got to witness dive training for when they must go underwater to save someone or recover something. Finally, at the parks department, I spent a couple days helping the park program with children and other days helping with things the park needed to be done.
I have done and learned so many things that if I wrote them all down it could be a short novel. I am very grateful for this internship and this opportunity that I had, and I cannot wait to see where my next destination will be the next summer. I look forward to seeing what my future at Wabash College has in store.