Contrary to public belief, waste does not simply dispose of itself. In Wastewater, engineers, scientists, operators, technicians, and manufacturers who work within this sector of water have garnered years of experience and knowledge that has kept communities healthy and safely operating so much so that residents don’t even have a second thought about where their waste goes. But what happens when these water professionals retire? For many young people entering the workforce, Wastewater is not the industry that comes to mind and often will never come to mind, making the search for a successor a challenging process.
For young people to see Wastewater as a viable and attractive career choice, it needs to be brought to light. At Vapex, internships have brought awareness to our industry while giving college students the opportunity to develop into young professionals. We asked our young team members to share their initial thoughts on working in Wastewater compared to now, and they had the following to say:
“When I was given the opportunity to work at Vapex, I had no clue about Wastewater. In the beginning, learning about wastewater processes and the industry was overwhelming and a bit intimidating. However, this quickly faded as I realized that there was never a shortage of help! If I ever had a question or focused my efforts on trying to grasp a concept, there was always an engineer, technician, operator or rep who was more than willing to share their own knowledge and past experiences.” – Alexia McIntosh, Marketing and Administrative Intern
“Before I started at Vapex, I had no real direction of where I wanted my career to go. I had definitely had no real knowledge about the wastewater industry. Little did I know, throughout my time at Vapex, I would learn so much about how waste gets processed and disposed of. Getting to learn about odor control has been very interesting to me, and I love getting to tell people what I do. Now, after a year at Vapex, I want to continue my path in this industry and keep learning more about the wastewater industry.” – Hannah Smith, Quality Control
“Most of us never put a lot of thought into the extensive path our wastewater takes, from our homes to the closest wastewater treatment facility. It’s hard to imagine the complex system of channels and structures connecting us and the many systems taking place to help us maintain our lifestyles. It has been a really great experience learning so much about the Wastewater Industry in the short time I’ve been at Vapex.” – Jonathan Quesada, Mechanical Engineering Intern