My name is Dragos Renita and I am originally from Moldova, a small country in Eastern Europe. For the last four years, I was studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Hochschule Rhein Waal in Germany.
From 2015 to 2016 I took a gap year and decided to study at the Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA (USA) as part of the Georgia Rotary Scholarship Program. That’s the first time I experienced the American culture and the American way of life. Being in the US for a year while putting my engineering degree on hold wasn’t an easy decision, however, it has paid dividends ever since. Besides having the chance to explore the country I always wanted to visit, I broadened my social network and developed interpersonal skills which helped me to improve my communication skills.
Coming back to Germany I was determined to absorb as much knowledge as I could from lectures, books, professors and come back to the US for an internship. At the time it all seemed an elusive idea, but engineering has taught me arguably one of the most valuable lessons: having a systematic approach, taking one step at a time in the right direction is a guaranteed recipe for success. One year later my goal came true through the help of Baumann Consulting. In January I was offered an internship position within the company in Washington, D.C. and I couldn’t have been more excited to accept the offer. After completing my final exams, I was flying to America to start a new chapter in my life.
I could not pass up the opportunity of working for a company with strong German background located in the capital of the US. While a student in Germany I became familiar with the long-established tradition and passion of the people for precision, detail, and extremely peculiar engineering standards that set them apart for generations. This excited me to learn more and be immersed in this environment that challenged me intellectually and helped me to find solutions that were unfathomable at the time.
During my first days at the office, I met the Baumann DC Team and Torsten – my supervisor, who gave me a quick tour of the office. I was very pleased to work with people I can learn a lot from but also talk to during lunch breaks. I met my other coworkers from the Chicago and Frankfurt offices remotely via Skype and realized how international Baumann is. I strongly believe that having people from all types of backgrounds is crucial for developing stronger communication skills and it broadens my view of the world.
During my first months, I got a lot of exposure to the company’s different focus areas. I’ve gained hands-on experience by conducting thermal comfort measurements at several different commercial buildings in the District and Virginia. I’ve worked on LEED credits that have helped me in the long term to better understand HVAC systems and methods, an area that I was not familiar with before starting my internship. In Wheaton, MD I had the chance to assist my coworker in monitoring and inspecting the geothermal work on site, which at times turned into a mud fest after the heavy rainfalls. There I learned about geothermal wells and how they are being installed.
The work at the office is different from the work on the project site, it is more research oriented. At the office, I organized video demonstrations about a coming technology trend – fault detection and diagnostics tools. It helps the building owner to save tremendous time and money in the pursuit of cutting energy expenses. Besides that, I researched the building codes in the DMV area and familiarized myself with the benchmarking criteria in Washington, D.C., finding potential customers for the benchmarking deadline in April 2019.
For the remaining months, I hope to continue learning more about Baumann’s work and have the expertise to assist the project managers on a more intricate level.
I look forward to embracing the remaining time with the company and making the most of this opportunity while exploring this part of the US better. D.C. is truly a unique capital and has easily earned its spot in my top 5 favorite cities.