BCe2 Team Leader Alicia Czarnecki is a rising senior at the University of Notre Dame studying Environmental Engineering, who shared with us the following:
“I am serving as the BCe2 Summer 2016 Team Leader. It is exciting to work with such a diverse and talented team alongside a very passionate neighborhood association to do meaningful work that produces tangible results. Our neighborhood has so many opportunities for improvement and it is exciting to see the talent and passion come together with a common purpose of making this a better place to live. The diversity of this team and the work we are doing within the neighborhood gives a real world context that students do not get in university environment where teams tend to come from the same major, age group, and general worldview.
The key to retaining talented students is to allow them to get engaged in meaningful and challenging projects early in their academic career to provide them opportunities to feel ownership of the community surrounding their university. It is important for students to know that there is a community outside of the “bubble” of their university, and on the flip side that they are a valuable part of helping that community to thrive.
In a ‘typical’ summer internship, I would probably be working on small parts of one or maybe two projects, but probably nothing in the critical path for project success. In this experience, I am in charge of planning 9 different projects and managing a team of 22 very diverse members as well as maintaining contact with our many stakeholders from the community, the City, the high schools and universities, and local business partners. It is probably a lot more challenging than the ‘typical’ internship, but I am so excited for the preparation that this experience will give me for my intended career path.”