Interning at a place where innovation meets creativity has been a dream come true for me. Being an intern at GE Global Research’s newest facility, the Oil & Gas Technology Center, in Oklahoma City has offered me an unforgettable experience that is rare for a high school senior. I’m a senior at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM), a boarding school dedicated to teaching the brightest young minds from across the state. Unlike other high schools, OSSM offers college-level courses taught by professors. The school also affords students the opportunity to intern in any profession of their choice. My internship at GE Global Research has me working in the water team under my mentor, Water Research Scientist Joan Bruns.
As a part of my internship, I am researching alternative methods of shale fracturing apart from hydraulic fracturing. I’m researching the advantages and disadvantages of hydraulic fracturing compared to other types of shale fracturing, such as liquid CO2, Liquid Petroleum gel, Nitrogen foam, and Pulse fracturing. I presented my project to the staff at GE Global Research at a lunch and learn on May 6.
Going to my mentorship every week, I also get to hear what it’s like to work as an engineer from the perspective of the many engineers working for GE. Listening to their stories about why they chose engineering, what sorts of careers they’ve had, and why they chose to work for GE in particular has opened my eyes to the possibilities that a career as an engineer will afford me and the limitless opportunities and benefits that GE offers.
Working with GE also gave me the opportunity to emcee a press conference among GE, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST), and OSSM as they announced the launch of the STEM Empowers OK program. I was especially honored to meet GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt in person and I was instantly star-struck. During the press conference, I was in charge of giving the introductions and I was intensely nervous. However, I realized that this event was a huge honor for our school and a great opportunity for OSSM to reach out to students across the state. Therefore, bracing my nerves, I got up on the podium and received my quick three minutes of fame.
After graduating this year, I plan on majoring in Mechanical Engineering in college. I loved my time interning in GE and I am hoping to work with GE more in the future, maybe I’ll even work at GE after I receive my Master’s degree. While my time working at GE has been brief, it has given me life-changing experiences and lessons that I will forever carry on with me.