Water Audit Internship
Last Thursday I did a water audit, which is basically an assessment of a client’s home water usage. I do a customer interview, perform a couple of tests on the showers and faucets to measure water flow, and then enter all my data into a designated program on the computer that calculates where the customer’s water is going, how much they are using, and most importantly, where and how they can improve their water efficiency.
I got this internship opportunity through a school club I joined last year. Training was offered to any club member interested, and initially I was going to pass on it. It sounded really professional and intimidating to me, and I thought it would be something that I couldn’t do. But I told my mom about it, and she encouraged me to get trained. My mom often encourages me to do things like this that intimidate me, and I suppose that’s a good thing. I listened to her, and attended all the training sessions. For the last one we had to do a mock audit in front of the rest of the group in our adviser’s home, which made me pretty nervous, but I did well actually and passed with flying colors. (This is an example of one opportunity I would have missed if I had let my shyness dictate my decision.)
On Wednesday I received an email asking if I wanted to do the audit tomorrow (Thursday) since it was canceled on me last week, and I said yes because I already had the data and decided it was best to say yes.
I left my school at lunch and went to do the audit (we have to miss about 2 hours of school when we do these audits since they’re during the day), computer bag and printer in both hands. I always feel like a business person whenever I have to carry that stuff around school, it’s so heavy too. I drove myself for once and was able to follow my mom’s directions fine.
Once I got to the house, I rang the doorbell, and was greeted by the client, Karen, who I shook hands with. (We have to be very professional.) She had a little daschund who was 11, and he was very cute waddling around slowly and wagging his tail. He had a lot of white spots around his eyes and around his head in general.
Karen was nice, and I greeted my supervisor Kate too, who does the energy audit. I did my interview(without feeling much nervousness actually, I guess I’ve gotten used to it) and all my tests on the showers and faucets around the house. Then I typed up my results and filled out the spreadsheet on the computer. While Kate was away it was just me and Karen, and it was quiet for a bit. I broke the silence by asking her about 2 months that were unusually high on her water bill, and if there had been a leak perhaps. She said she didn’t think so, but she did put in the lawn those 2 months.
Everything in my report was done and ready to be printed, so I just had to wait for Kate to come back. I went over and pet Karen’s dog, who was really sweet and licked my fingers to show affection. Karen came over and I talked to her about her dog, my past dog Winnie, and my neighbor’s dogs Penny and Dexter. I told her about how I had been doing a lot of dog walking and was really enjoying it, and we had a good conversation.
Kate came back and I talked to her about my report, then printed it. I presented my findings to the client and went over her water assessment document. I explained the graphs and the charts and where they could make improvements. After I went over everything, I thanked her for her time, and said I hoped she found this report helpful. She said she definitely did and thanked me for my time, and we shook hands. I think I presented everything pretty well and was sure to go into detail about each part, though occasionally I caught myself talking faster or stumbling over a few words.
I left feeling good about the audit, and drove myself home no problem.