January 12, 2018
Luke Rivera '19 spent the summer as the only environmental intern in the northeastern U.S. for Exelon Generation.
Rivera, an environmental studies major, worked in environmental compliance during his 10-week internship at Limerick nuclear power plant outside of Philadelphia.
"If any environmental issues arose, I would shadow different staff members during the problem-solving process," Rivera says. "I was also required to complete walkdowns with another staff member to check for any environmental hazards around the plant."
He organized data collected from plant's discharge and drinking water systems, reported that data to the required government agencies, updated procedures, helped with the plant's wildlife/environmental certification, and supervised work by outside contractors.
Capping off the summer, Rivera made a presentation on the projects he worked on as part of the plant's Wildlife Habitat Council certification to the company's senior leadership team.
His Susquehanna classes, like Sedimentology and Energy and the Environment, had already prepared him to write the detailed reports required in his internship. But the internship emphasized the importance of making sure those reports are correct.
"I learned to constantly review my work before it was sent out to higher-level management," Rivera says. "The importance of being detail-oriented is very high in professional work."
After graduation, Rivera wants to work in environmental compliance and eventually go to law school to become an environmental lawyer.
"Everyone is impacted by the health of the environment," he says.