August 7, 2013

Each summer, numerous LSU College of Engineering students attain internship positions with companies across the South. These interns gain valuable insight into the life of a professional engineer, construction manager or computer scientist as they work together on various projects. They not only gain real-world experience that can’t be learned in the classroom, but students also have the opportunity to network in industry, work in teams and apply concepts they’ve learned in class.

These are just a few LSU students with exciting internships this summer:

Virginia Boudreaux

Major and year: Mechanical Engineering Junior

Hometown: Lafayette, La.

Internship: Intern for Danos in Larose, La.

What she does: Boudreaux works in fabrication and construction, where she observes quality control checks, helps with material take outs and ships and receives materials. She also participates in weekly safety and fabrication status meetings. She has overlooked bidding and estimating jobs and attended bid overview meetings. Outside the office, she’s been a part of the Shell Safety Day presentation, Incident Free Operations meeting for Chevron, and she has visited Global X-Ray, Partek welding and testing lab and SafeZone.

Her favorite part: “I have honestly enjoyed every bit of my internship here. There are two things that really stand out for this summer. Number one – I feel like every single day I have learned something new. Every day I go home ecstatic about what I learned that day. I am so blessed to have had this opportunity. Number two – I have enjoyed becoming part of the Danos family. I don’t know a lot of companies where you walk in and everyone welcomes you with open arms. I have become so close to everyone in the fabrication/construction division. I look forward to going to work every day. I am so thankful to be a part of the Danos family.”

What she’s learned: “The experience I gained at my summer job with Danos has provided me with a foundation to work moving forward. I’ve learned the importance of teamwork and most of all, safe operations. I’ve enjoyed all the different aspects of what my job consists of. Working with Danos has assured me that going into the oil and gas industry is the right career choice for me. I feel really confident about changing my major to mechanical engineering. It was definitely the best career decision I have made. Overall, I’ve enjoyed my entire experience and look forward to the upcoming school year.

John Griffit

Major and year: Petroleum Engineering Senior

Hometown: Mandeville, La.

Internship: Summer Intern for Century Exploration, Breton Sound, La.

What he does: Griffit works on a production platform, assisting the operators and others with daily work activities. On a typical work day, he begins work at 6 a.m. Various numbers must be read and recorded in the mornings to go into a report. Then the crew assesses the process and production. Throughout the day, he helps with various activities, including crane work, fixing machinery, including valves, pumps, etc., and other miscellaneous jobs around the platform. From time to time, he is asked to go out in the field to one of the seven satellite wells that flow to the platform. A boat brings them to the various locations to work accordingly. Someone will usually volunteer to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. His workday technically ends at 6 p.m., however, a work day never truly stops offshore as he and his team are always held responsible for anything that arises.  

His favorite part: “I have enjoyed gaining some very valuable experience working offshore compared to working in an office. I have learned from this experience that the oil industry is really what I want to go into for my future career. Now that I have been able to learn hands-on instead of in the classroom, I truly believe I will be happy working in this industry for the rest of my life.”


Jacob McNemar

Major and year: Construction Management Senior

Hometown: Central, La.

Internship:  Assistant Superintendent at D.R. Horton, Inc., Baton Rouge, Gulf South Division 

What he does: McNemar has a variety of responsibilities including checking material deliveries against purchase orders and assisting a superintendent in one of DRHI's most exciting new neighborhoods. Soon, he will be filling in full time for the current superintendent while he is out of the office for up to eight weeks. His most common tasks include quality control, developing and maintaining strong customer and subcontractor relationships, scheduling and problem solving.

His favorite part: “There is a lot of autonomy that is provided with the position, which I like. It makes the position all that much more interesting knowing that you are in control of your work schedule and not trapped behind a desk. I have enjoyed really every minute of it. It is challenging yet exciting and very fulfilling. I like it so much, I actually find excuses to come swing by the subdivision with my wife on the weekends!”

What he’s learned: “Besides the quality relationships I have made with my managers and coworkers, I would say that I have learned that I am not the only one in town who has a passion for high-quality residential construction. I truly think God placed this opportunity in my lap that morning at [Construction Interviewing Day]. I am blessed to have had this internship and I look forward to holding a position with DRHI in the future.”  

Laura Patino

Major and year: Environmental Engineering Senior

Hometown: Born in Cali, Colombia in South America. Family currently lives in Ocean Springs, Miss.

Internship: Environmental Engineering Intern for Upstream Americas Legacy Properties with Shell in One Shell Square, New Orleans, La.

What she does: Patino deals with sites that Shell no longer owns or operates but is still responsible for any disruption made to them. Most of these sites involve environmental issues that require the team to manage projects, which include site remediation and clean ups. Regulations weren't the same 30-40 years ago and many decisions were made that affected the soil today. This summer, she has worked on a soil remediation and waste optimization project for a site in Louisiana in which she has to reduce costs while presenting the best treatment options. Some days, she goes out in the field, and other days, she works at the office. Every two weeks, she has a meeting with her supervisor to make sure everything is going smoothly and goals are being met.

Her favorite part: “I have enjoyed every little aspect of this internship. I enjoyed the fact that I am applying environmental engineering skills into my everyday work and the opportunity that I have had to build and maintain relationships (since I interned at Shell last summer, as well). There is so much to learn from everyone around the office. I enjoy the fact that I can go to the field and physically see how what I do in the office directly impacts what goes on. I enjoyed that I was able to go offshore and be exposed to how it works and see how life on a platform really is.”

What she’s learned: “I have expanded my knowledge on waste management, which is a field that interests me a lot in environmental engineering. I have learned what the role of an environmental engineer can be at Shell and in the oil and gas industry in general. I have been able to acquire and perfect skills that will be extremely helpful as I develop professionally. I have learned that I like this type of work, and it may be something that I will consider for my future now that I am so close to graduation. I have gained friends and mentors that are interested in my development as a professional and are willing to help me achieve my goals by providing guidance.”


Tamara Trotter

Major and year: Chemical Engineering Senior

Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas

Internship: Reservoir Engineering Intern on the Reservoir Characterization Team at Encana Oil and Gas, Inc. in Plano, TX

What she does: Trotter and her team members use numerical simulation to look at past well performance in addition to forecast future well performance. They then make recommendations to upper management. At Encana, interns are assigned to a project that would normally be put in the hands of a full-time engineer.

Her favorite part: “I think my favorite part is getting to work on projects that add value to the company while also having the opportunity to show off my skill set. It is a great opportunity to display your personal value to the company. Working alongside some of the most talented and experienced people in the industry has its perks also.” 

What she’s learned: “I have gained the opportunity to work with so many different kinds of people from a plethora of backgrounds. I have gained lots of knowledge and wisdom from people who have been in the industry for decades, as well as useful advice from new grads.”


Article written by Elise Bernard, communications intern. For more information, contact Mimi LaValle, College of Engineering, or (225) 578-5706. 












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