Intel has a well-developed internship program serving many students who are preparing for real careers outside of college. Our goal is to provide real-world, thought-provoking internships to undergraduate and graduate-level students. Intel internships offer students a chance to get practical experience with ownership of projects from day one, as well as the opportunity to develop a network of contacts for their future. Intel managers encourage students to take the initiative and develop programs that meet their particular interests.
This summer a number of students from across diverse fields of study have been completing internships at Intel in Ireland. Katie Smirnova is one such intern who has been working as part of Intel’s Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Department. Here Katie shares some of her experiences in a specially created blog;
I chose to specialise in Environmental Science in Trinity College in Dublin this year because it provides such a broad range of opportunities for protecting our natural capital. My course has a strong focus on field research, but also covers environmental governance which puts modules such as soil science, wildlife conservation and plant-atmosphere interactions into a more practical context. I love the multi-disciplinary approach of incorporating aspects of zoology and botany with hydrology, climate change and geology, which helps to expand the scope of future career opportunities.
I’ve enjoyed my internship with Intel for the exact same reason, as I got the opportunity to help out in diverse ways with the water, waste and biodiversity programmes within the EHS department. This included projects relating to environmental compliance with Intel’s EPA licence, conducting surveys and organising events with the help of Public Affairs.
During the past two months, my typical day involved a combination of data entry, compiling documented information in a more structured way, and surveying. The majority of my work related to on-site biodiversity, for example, I have been conducting biweekly surveys of plant-pollinator interactions in the wildflower meadow at the back of site. This allowed me to develop my plant and insect identification skills, and provided valuable information about the diversity of species that Intel’s meadow hosts. I also worked with Wild Kildare to conduct an overnight moth survey in late July. This was especially interesting because I had been primarily researching butterflies, bumblebees, wasps and hoverflies as these are the main diurnal pollinators in the meadow, but had not appreciated the quantity of moth species there are in Ireland.
Other projects I worked on included updating information about nest boxes, bird feeders and insect hotels. I also helped to raise awareness about their importance through a biodiversity awareness stand, which amplified knowledge of internal initiatives, such as the conservation of the River Rye and native planting at the front of site, but also promoted external biodiversity projects sponsored by the Pride of Place competition. This linkage between business and local community is what really impressed me about Intel this summer, which was apparent when I joined a visit to a local school to experience their vegetable and wildflower garden sponsored by Pride of Place.
The focus on cooperation with local community groups and diversity within the workplace makes it easy to understand Intel’s commitment to protecting the environment. It’s clear that by promoting diversity in all of its sites, from Nizhny Novgorod (only a short ten hour drive from my home town in Russia!), to Leixlip, Intel’s employees are in the perfect position to be advocates for environmental equality. This drive to protect nature was pronounced in the amount of people who approached our biodiversity stand with an interest in getting involved, and at a higher level, the push towards renewable energy and the importance placed on conforming to the environmental protection licence.
In my opinion, Intel is the ideal place to learn how manufacturing and technology are not incompatible with environmental protection, but can co-exist together. Personally, this internship provided a valuable perspective on my interest in field research, and highlighted the importance of environmental management systems in multinational corporations.
Katie regularly visits the 2 acre wildflower meadow at Intel’s Leixlip campus which was first planted in 2016 – check out below some of the insects and flowers photographed by Katie in the meadow.
Find out more about Intel Ireland’s Biodiversity program:
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