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Meet Sophie Mendelson

Sophie is a student that is majoring in Environmental & Ecological Engineering while also having a minor in Environmental Politics & Policies. She's a senior from Southern California, and calls Mission Viejo, California home. Sophie is apart of many student organizations on campus that are involved with her major such as Society of Environmental & Ecological Engineers (SEEE), Women in Engineering Program - Mentors & Mentees (WIEP M&M), and Pi Beta Phi Sorority.

What attracted you to the your position at ExxonMobil?

"I was attracted to ExxonMobil for their sustainability initiatives. They target 8 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and I wanted to know more about how an oil company planned to do their part to address climate change and continue to meet the needs of current society without hindering the future generations."

Tell me about your overall experience working at ExxonMobil?

"I had an overwhelmingly positive experience. My team was supportive, encouraging and inclusive. I got to experience a new city, a new state and a new culture all while applying the skills I learned at Purdue."

What does your typical day look like?

"Every day this summer was a bit different. Typically, I’d start the morning at 7:30 reading my emails and writing a to do list for the day. Next I would sit in meetings discussing anything from fugitive emissions and RTO downtime to Scope 1 and 2 carbon dioxide emissions. I would then spend time working on the projects that were assigned to me which required both time at my desk and in the field. Field work was my favorite part of the day because it required both engineering and safety procedures and allowed me to visualize the processes I was mapping. After work I would go for a run to decompress, make myself dinner, watch some TV and go to bed. Then I’d start a new day!"

What did you learn from this role?

"I learned that good engineering work doesn’t happen at a desk by your lonesome and successful engineers have excellent communication skills. I learned that environmental engineering doesn’t have to look a certain type of way - just like other engineering majors, it’s a baseline from which you build off. Finally, I learned the value of experience. When I was unsure of a process or a calculation, there was always an experienced engineer who could help me through it. Internships are one of the most valuable experiences you can get as a student and mine showed me what an engineer can really do!"

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