Intern Profile: Kimberly Coleman
Background: Senior Forensic Investigation major from Clay County, West Virginia.
Next steps: Pursue a graduate degree in forensic toxicology and, hopefully, a full-time job with the FBI.
The internship: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Quantico, Virginia
Kimberly started out as a pre-nursing major, but when she took a forensic investigation course, it changed everything. Now she’s fascinated with figuring out how the criminal mind works and with finding justice for families impacted by crime.
was interested when I was in middle school but never really thought I was
capable of doing it. I had to take a filler class and it was a forensics. I fell
in love with it and changed my whole major," she said.
This summer, she put that fascination to work for the FBI, where she spent nearly 300 hours on classified projects, rode in a helicopter and conducted firearms training alongside Bureau agents. (She’d tell you more, but she can’t).
“It was an amazing experience, and one that I will cherish for a very long time. I learned so much about the FBI and what they do. I learned even more that it is what I want to do with my life. It was very rewarding,” she said.
She worked with WVU Tech's Career Service office to line up the experience.
supported me by getting me everything that I needed to complete the internship.
They were always there to listen and were excited to see how my experience
went. I can't thank them enough for opening this door for me," she said.
She enjoyed the work so much, in fact, that she’s continuing to work for the organization part-time throughout the academic year.
“I learned a very dear life lesson during my internship: no matter where you are in the world, there is always someone who is going to be back home supporting you. I learned so many things about the FBI and what they do, but most importantly, no matter how high in the world you are, family should be the most important.”
“Be the best you can be. No matter what,” she said. “Don't ever think you’re too low to do something because there is a world of opportunities waiting for you!”
Intern Profile: Matias Gandulfo
Background: Senior mechanical engineering major from Salta, Argentina
Next Steps: Gain work experience through a training program for international students, and maybe grad school.
The internship: LA Gates, Teays Valley, West Virginia
Born with a penchant for figuring out how things work, Matias found out very early that he had an aptitude for mechanical engineering.
"Since I was a kid I liked to take all my toys apart and reassemble them. Most of the times I was not successful, but I was always curious to know how things worked," he said. "I feel that was the initiative to start thinking about engineering."
When his older brother started a career in mechanical engineering, Matias followed him around on projects, discovering that the field was right for him, too.
“It fascinates me,” he said, “the idea of creating something that could be very beneficial for society and improves people's lives.”
He’s captain of the men’s soccer team at Tech, president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers chapter and vice-president of the Pi Tau Sigma Delta Theta chapter. He’s also got a valuable internship under his belt.
Matias worked for engineering consultant LA Gates, where he helped with commissioning services for natural gas industry projects. He visited worksites, created color-coded system boundary drawings, updated equipment datasheets and helped to create commissioning plans. In that role, he said he learned how in-depth an engineering project can be.
“Commissioning services for compression stations involve over a thousand different items,” he said. “It includes a wide variety of engineering concepts that not only are mechanical engineering related, but also electrical engineering and others.”
“I had to go beyond just my duties in order to understand everything. It gave me a different perspective of how concepts learned at school are used in the real world. Coming back to school for me now is not only about having good grades, but also taking advantage of the resources that we have available and using them more efficiently,” he said.
He said that the Career Services department at Tech played a big role in helping him prepare for and land the internship.
"The Career Services office has been extraordinary helpful for me since I started looking for an internship. I cannot count the amount of times I went to see Candice Stadler about my resume, cover letters and job-seeking resources. I got in contact with LA Gates at the career fair at Tech, so I am greatly thankful for all the hard work they do to help students," he said.
Matias is continuing his work with LA Gates part-time at their office in Beckley.