Networking and Patience is Key
By Kareemat Melaiye
Through this program, I got the opportunity to have a two-week internship at an environmental engineering company called Cosmos Technologies. The CEO of the company is Mr. Frederick Douglas and he took time out of his busy schedule to teach me about what his company does and what my tasks were. I was a research intern and had to search for proposal and grant opportunities while also looking for potential business partners. I quickly realized that the difficult part wasn't reaching out to these contacts but hearing back from them. I had to call these contacts consistently and send them emails to try and get a response from them.
Even researching wasn't as simple as I thought it would be. For example, I was told to look for underground deep well injection sites and get their contact information, however, it was difficult to find the location of the injection sites and I had to contact the EPA for a list of the sites. It took up until the last day of my internship to get those lists.
Regardless, I had a nice experience and learned tips from Mr. Douglas on running a business. I learned that networking and patience is very important when running a company because the result may not come as quick as you think it would be. This program also helped me show others who I am and what I am capable of, rather than them assuming my skills and personality based on my appearance. Hopefully in the future, employers will be open to hiring more minorities into their companies. I really had a good experience with this program and would like to participate in it again.