Eight Interns Join Chazen for In-Office Mentorship
Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (July 28, 2021) – The Chazen Companies, a multidisciplinary consulting firm, welcomes eight interns across three of their offices for in-office, hands-on experience and mentorship following a year of remote learning.
For most college students, the 2020-2021 school year was spent at home in kitchens and from couches. As COVID-related restrictions have lifted in New York State, Chazen hired six interns and two co-ops for the summer of 2021.
Chazen’s headquarters in Poughkeepsie brought on four interns – Colin Burnell (Clarkson University) and Frank Ieppariello (Florida Gulf Coast University) in their Municipal Engineering group, Thomas Newhard (Clarkson University) in the Land Development group, and three-time returning intern, Jarrod Rizzi (University at Buffalo) in the Finance Department.
The Capital District office in Latham hired two interns – a multi-year intern, Dominic Savona (Manhattan College) in the Land Development group and Brynne Wright (University of Rhode Island) for Landscape Architecture.
The Municipal Engineering Group in Chazen’s North Country office (Glens Falls) brought on two co-ops – Wilson Herrmann (Northeastern University) and Andrew Nizolek (Rochester Institute of Technology).
The interns first reported to Chazen offices in May, while COVID-restrictions were still in place. Face coverings were mandatory, daily health questionnaires were required, offices remained at limited capacity with no common areas, in-person celebrations and outings ceased to exist, and everyone was always six-feet apart even when collaborating on a project. Interns could be seen, headsets on, logged onto Microsoft Teams calls with their mentors who were sharing their AutoCAD screens from just a few desks away. Though challenging like never before, the learning continued.
Following the July 4th holiday, interns entered Chazen’s offices alongside employees. Face covering requirements were adapted in accordance with State and CDC guidelines, but interns could be found hunched over engineering plans together. In addition to food truck visits, professional headshots and the impromptu ice cream socials that are typical of Chazen, Human Resources is planning something special to celebrate their interns being back in the offices with them.
“These students have been impacted by and persevered through the pandemic in ways similar to us. And just like us, they too were excited to get back into offices, meet their mentors, and get the learning experiences they’ll need to become the engineers of our future,” explains Lauren Gillett, vice president of human resources at Chazen.
Chazen emphasizes the importance of giving interns a real-world work experience – meaningful project work, treated as professionals, held accountable to expectations, and exposed to a wide variety of experiences.
Savona, intern in Latham’s Land Development group, shares, “I am currently leading training and data collection on an ADA transition plan for the City of Albany. Doing this type of work equips me with valuable knowledge, the sense of being a full-time employee, and the pride of playing a key role in the project. Even as an intern, I feel like I am an important member of the Chazen/LaBella team.”
In 2020, Chazen took on nine interns/co-ops, two of whom were hired full-time that same year. Today, 12 of the firm’s full-time employees are former interns. This summer’s interns are working alongside full-time Chazen employees who are, themselves, intern alums.
Assistant Project Engineer, Alyssa Burnell, was one of them and she is now mentoring a Summer 2021 intern she knows well – her brother. “I returned to Chazen following graduation from Syracuse University because I knew the experience I had as an intern here would be even better as an employee. Today, I am working on one of the firm’s largest projects; that’s exciting enough on its own, but I also get to share that sentiment and knowledge with Colin and Frank [Municipal Engineering interns in Poughkeepsie].”
Chazen, A LaBella Company is a multi-disciplinary consulting firm providing civil engineering, land surveying, landscape architecture, planning, environmental and safety consulting, code services, construction services, transportation planning and traffic engineering to clients in the private and public sectors. Chazen’s employees proudly collaborate with municipalities, state agencies, developers, landowners, utility companies, and industrial, healthcare, education, and nonprofit clients from project concept to completion, taking a customized approach to every project.
Founded over 70 years ago, Chazen has offices in Glens Falls, Troy, Poughkeepsie, White Plains and New York City, NY; Nashville and Chattanooga, TN; and Portland, OR.
Chazen recently joined LaBella Associates, a multi-disciplinary architectural and engineering firm founded in 1978 and headquartered in Rochester, NY with offices across New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maine, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Alabama, and Madrid, Spain.
Learn more at www.chazencompanies.com.