Samy Staehli Reflects on his Internship Experience at Baumann

March 11, 2020

By: Samy Staehli

My internship at Baumann Consulting offered a unique opportunity to be part of a team whose work makes a positive impact on the environment. This internship program advance my knowledge of energy concepts and services related to sustainability and energy efficiency consulting. I also acquired real-world experience by working on high-profile projects, experience a different culture, and discover new places in the US.

Before Coming to the U.S.

During my bachelor’s degree studies back in Switzerland, a professor told me about the internship opportunities that Baumann offers. After going through the interview process, I was offered a six-month internship at Baumann’s Washington D.C. office. This once in a lifetime opportunity would give me the opportunity to gain professional experience, live abroad and get to experience a different way of life. I accepted the offer without hesitation. Since the internship was based in the U.S., I had to go through a visa process prior to my internship and Baumann offered great support during this process. After my visa application was approved, I was all set to leave to the US, which was one month after I received my bachelor’s degree in Building Technologies.

Learning New Skills in a Different Environment

Exhaust fans from energy audit site visit

  Exhaust fans from energy audit                                             site visit

Throughout the internship, I had the opportunity to work on a range of projects and services, from LEED and energy audits to commissioning (Cx) and retrocommissioning (Retro-Cx). In the beginning, the program focused on LEED projects which helped me gain an understanding of the LEED requirements and the impact of a building to its environment, not only considering the technical aspects. I then became familiar with the Cx process, which is not a common service in Switzerland. I also worked on several Retro-Cx projects and visited existing and operating buildings. It helped me gain a better understanding of the differences in technical solutions in Switzerland and the US. Additionally, I played a role in a key project that involved providing energy audit services for 20 different buildings. I was able to gain a general idea of how American buildings operate and where their energy saving potential lies.

Baumann provides a breadth of services so the project work is very diverse and interesting. It certainly is a workplace for curious minds. The company also promotes a creative and stimulating workplace environment for its employees and is open to suggestions to improve their processes. The diverse workplace is another reason why Baumann is unique; the team is comprised of people with different backgrounds (from five different continents, speaking eight languages) and skills that help bring new perspectives and ideas. Because of this internship, I was able to meet people of different backgrounds and better understand and learn about different cultures from all around the world.

Unforgettable Personal Experiences

Samy's Boat Tour of the Everglades

        Boat tour of the Everglades

The internship also provided me with special experiences on a personal level. As a sports lover, attending games of the four big leagues was on my to-do list. During my time in the US, the Washington DC’s baseball team, the Washington Nationals, won the World Series and I was able to attend the parade celebration. I also enjoy traveling and exploring new places, so in my spare time, I explored all major cities located on the East Coast of the US. I traveled to Baumann’s Chicago office and had the chance to meet other members of the team too. During this trip, I explored the city and all the great things it offers including the famous Chicago skyline. Other experiences included dolphin watching in Florida and experiencing snow in Toronto, Canada.

The past six months really helped me further broaden my horizons and embrace new experiences. I would recommend this program to anyone that is interested in a career in sustainability and energy efficiency and is looking to gain experience abroad.

Interested in joining the Baumann team? View our current career opportunities.