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Bernier, Carr & Associates interns get real-life experience

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Bernier, Carr & Associates is trying to keep the north county’s talented engineers and architects in the region.

For nearly as long as the company has existed, it has taken on interns to teach them how to create project budgets and oversee construction sites.

SUNY Delhi junior Drew G. Laemmermann and Clarkson University senior Christopher W. Todd are among nine summer interns learning there is more to being an architect or engineer than just consulting with clients and making drawings.

“I definitely did not know how much paperwork would be involved,” said Mr. Todd, a graduate of General Brown Central School, Dexter. “I also didn’t know how long it takes for some of these projects to come to fruition.”

As an aspiring civil engineer, he is supervised while working on project budgets.

While Mr. Todd is crunching numbers, Mr. Laemmermann, a Watertown High School graduate, is at Samaritan Medical Center helping to oversee construction of the hospital’s connector addition and renovations.

“As a representative of the owner, we make sure they’re getting what they’re paying for,” Mr. Laemmermann said.

He said he threw on a hard hat and rolled up his sleeves on the very first day of his internship in May.

The paid and credit-bearing internships revolve around the students’ schedules. Some come back on school breaks or return the following year to resume work on projects they helped to start. Jefferson Community College sophomore Sarah E. Thesier has spent the past five summers with Bernier, Carr.

This year, all of the interns came from Jefferson or Lewis counties.

“I think it’s probably just a coincidence, but all our interns are typically local,” firm President Rick W. Tague said. “This is a good opportunity for them do something related to their field but to also have fun during the summer.”

It also is an opportunity for the firm to take note of an intern’s strengths and weaknesses. About a dozen staff members and three partners started off as interns, according to Kelly E. Reinhardt, the company’s director of business development and community relations.

Both Mr. Todd and Mr. Laemmermann still feel strongly about their chosen field, even after doing the everyday paper-pushing tasks.

“It definitely sparked my interest even more,” Mr. Laemmermann said. “To put a cherry on top of it, I learned an incredible amount. You can read all these books and do what you do at school, but you have to get out there and see how things really work. That’s how things come together.”

Internship applications are online at www.thebcgroup.com/internship.htm.

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