Another Step in an Engineer's Career

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December 22, 2016

Guest Blogger: Sameer Talnikar

It’s a start to a significant winter and I would like to extend a season’s greetings to everyone associated with and aspiring to be part of the GRID Alternatives family. My name is Sameer Talnikar and I recently concluded a term as a Solar Construction Intern at GRID IE.

I am an aerospace engineering graduate from the University of Southern California. My passion for renewables introduced me to GRID Alternatives and the awesome mission it strives toward. I attended a career fair that GRID organized in the Bay Area this summer and was encouraged by the HR director to apply for an intern position. GRID’s mission to serve the community by providing a renewable energy source that directly impacts efforts to tackle climate change inspired me in such a way that I wanted to contribute to the organization.

I wrote to the manager responsible for hiring interns at GRID IE along with my application. Soon afterwards I participated in a phone interview, followed by a personal interview, both of which lasted about 30-45 minutes. I believe a successful candidate is expected to have some experience with construction and assembly processes, is comfortable on rooftops and can work with minimal supervision post training. I had an offer within a week and was welcomed to the office on one of the busiest days, the All-Staff meeting day.

My work at GRID was an enriching professional experience and I had the good fortune of working with the best Solar Installation Supervisors I could have imagined. With the highest degree of professionalism and passion for solar energy, my solar system installation training was conducted in a logical and systematic way, always rooted in safety. I was progressively assigned more complex tasks and routinely provided personal feedback regarding my work on a regular basis. I found the volunteers I spent time with every day to be an amazing group of individuals who had an awareness and commitment towards a cleaner environment. The homeowners were also a wonderful group of people that I was glad to meet.

Following my internship, I aim to combine my grass roots experience at GRID with my engineering background to further develop my professional career. I aspire to integrate innovative engineering applications with solar and work on systems that expand technology with improved efficiency at less cost. GRID gave me an opportunity for a personal look at the solar industry. I will certainly to continue contributing to the industry by developing nuanced clean energy technologies.

I would strongly encourage everyone, especially students from STEM backgrounds to be a part of GRID’s journey. It will be one of the most enlightening and constructive experience one can get at the start of their career. You will be able to accrue considerable field work and hands-on exposure, something that is missing sometimes in our lab courses. Most of all, a GRID intern position will help you grow personally since you will be able to witness the efforts of an industry that works towards a greener Earth and a brighter future. It is a great virtue and an accomplishment of which one can be very, very proud.