Living in North Carolina has been a great experience so far and I would love to live here one day or visit often. I would miss having the snow that you get in Minnesota or Michigan and I guess I would miss my family too, but there are other thing here that I am going to miss at the end of the summer.
Charlotte is a beautiful city with many different activities and places to go. A few weeks ago I went to the Taste of Charlotte. It is similar to a farmers market, but instead of healthy food they have samples of food from restaurants around Charlotte. It is a three day festival with over 100 different food samples, live music, street dancers, and many different activities. The festival takes place in the streets of uptown (downtown Charlotte) and is about 7-8 blocks long. It was a great way to get to know the city and try food from different restaurants in the area.
North Carolina has many state parks and great places to go hiking. When I was younger my family and I used to hike all the time but it has been some time since I’ve been on a good hike and I wanted to get back into it. Seeing that I am spending three months here, I figured North Carolina would be the place to do it. I have been to Crowders Mountain State Park, Lake Norman State Park, and Marrow Mountain State Park since the beginning of the summer and I have loved it! Crowders Mountain is just west of Charlotte and has an abundant of hiking trails. At the end of some of the trails there is another short trail that is very steep and has about 100 steps to get to the top; while the trek up there might have been tough, the gorgeous view was worth it. I am already planning my next trip there before the summer is over.
Lake Norman State Park is another great place to hike with all the trails going around or near the lake. Not only can you hike or bike the trails, but you can also have fun in the lake or camp in the park. I choose to go hiking, but I saw people canoeing and paddle boarding which looked fun. Although I did have fun at Lake Norman, the hiking was considerably harder and I can’t even imagine what biking them would be like.
While I did have fun exploring and hiking up mountains, the reason I came to North Carolina was to gain experience at an internship with Little Diversified Architectural Consulting. Working for an architectural and engineering firm has been a great experience and I know my last few weeks will be just as great. Little is a great company that cares for all of its employees, but most importantly does everything in order to ensure the client’s happiness. Founder Bill Little’s number one priority in his life, besides his family, was making a client happy. He would do everything he could to make the client happy and make sure they got what they wanted out of our designs.
Being at Little has given me a great learning experience. I have been able to work with the electrical and mechanical groups here and they have given me opportunities to learn about what they do on projects. It has also given me the chance to see what discipline I would prefer to pursue with when I graduate. I have figured out that mechanical and electrical are good disciplines, but right now I am still leaning towards structural. I have not been able to work with the structural team, but I am hoping I do before I leave. Not only am I learning a lot about the day to day life of working in engineering, but I am meeting a lot of people as well. There are six other interns working with me in engineering at the charlotte office and one at the Durham office. We have all gotten to know one another, especially since we have “lunch and learns” every week. Lunch and Learns are when someone from Little who works in another department comes and explains to us (the interns) what they or their department does as well as getting lunch.
I am having a lot of fun being in North Carolina and working for a great company. I can’t wait to see where I will be next summer. I am hoping it will be right where I am now, but whatever happens I know I am getting a great experience being here and won’t forget it.