Summer interns arrive to work, learn at Pantex and Y-12
Senior Director of Communications Jason Bohne explains facets of the Y-12 mission during a site tour for new summer interns.
The CNS summer interns have arrived to begin learning and working in organizations across Pantex and Y-12. A total of 52 interns, 35 at Y-12 and 17 at Pantex, began their summer with an orientation. Cristy Landrum, who coordinates the internship program at Y-12, said the interns represent 20 universities and 11 states, ranging from Florida to New Mexico. Of course, most hail from Texas and Tennessee, 18 and 25, respectively.
Chief Human Resources Officer Diane Grooms told the Y-12 interns that they should feel proud to have been selected from among 1,000 applicants. The internship program is integral to CNS’s recruitment efforts.
“The goal here is to see how you do,” Grooms said. “If you like us and we like you, we hope to hire you one day.”
Grooms asked the group, who got up at 4 a.m. that day, to get ready for the start of orientation at 6 a.m.
Alexander, a junior studying nuclear engineering at the University of Tennessee, raised his hand, saying he plans for the worst and needed a coffee, which drew a laugh from the group. At 28, he already holds a degree in political science from the University of Michigan, but wants to focus on nonproliferation.
“Policy and history are interesting, but this is more of a hands-on experience,” Alexander said.
Joshua, a senior studying finance and management at West Texas A&M University, is joining Pantex’s Operations Support in Project Controls. He said his duties align closely to his studies, thanks to careful matching by his Pantex internship coordinator Zuleyma Carruba-Rogel.
“Executing the internship program requires yearlong coordination efforts, which all come together when those students take their first seat at New Employee Orientation,” she said. “Their enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, and eagerness to learn is infectious.”
Joshua said he has worked several unrelated jobs to help pay for college and is happy his internship role mirrors his studies.
“I’m most excited about gaining an entirely new, professional skill set,” Johsua said.
Riley will be a senior at the University of Tennessee studying business analytics. Her father also works at Y-12. Her internship in Occupational Health Services might not seem like a good match. However, OHS's Gary Hall and Karen Lacey jumped on the chance to have Riley analyze CNS's COVID-19 database to study now the sites dealt with the pandemic. While making sure Riley’s experience is enriching, Hall said a secondary goal of the program is producing value for the organizations.
“I’m really looking forward to getting into the data and being able to showcase how well OHS has been handling Y-12’s employees’ safety during the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.