At Water Mission, our interns don’t make copies—they make safe water a reality for communities across the globe. From communications to finance to innovation engineering, these incredible college students and grads are essential to Water Mission’s work. Meet them below!
Jake Voss, Innovation Engineering Intern
From: Jackson, MI
College: Michigan Tech University (snowiest college campus in the country!)
Studying: Chemical Engineering
Why did you want to intern at Water Mission? Water Mission provided the unique opportunity to combine my two greatest passions: God and engineering. The ability to serve others through my work while growing personally in a Christian workplace has been unbelievable.
What’s your favorite project so far in your internship? We are looking at alternative media to replace sand in our current media filters. This project encompasses using a lot of cool technology and has helped me really understand how the Living Water Treatment System (LWTS) works. I have the freedom to create my own experiments to better understand the new media.
Tell us about your proudest accomplishment. I had perfect attendance K-12.
Ansley Rikard, Church Partnerships Intern
From: Charlotte, NC
College: Wake Forest University
What’s your favorite project so far in your internship? Helping design and conduct a church survey via phone with some of our church partners. I have thoroughly enjoyed gaining insightful feedback on how we can better serve the church.
What does a typical day in the office look like for you? A bowl of blueberries every morning and a Belvita breakfast bar every afternoon. It also looks like a lot of fun phone calls and asking people (particularly Gen Yers and Gen Xers) if they hear Yanny or Laurel. It’s a millennial thing.
Tell us your favorite Water Mission moment so far. Helping Ed, an 87-year-old volunteer, build part of a LWTS. Ed told me, “Now, when you finish this filter you will have touched 10,000 lives.” We built 3 filters—30,000 lives!
James Cheng, Accounting & Finance Intern
From: Charleston, SC
College: Babson College
Studying: Finance & Entrepreneurship
What’s your favorite project so far in your internship? Conducting usability testing for a NetSuite Country Program Accounting Manual which will standardize business practices and increase overall efficiency.
What’s the best part of working at our HQ? Free food! No, the people. Free food and the people.
Tell us about your proudest accomplishment. Just last week I ate six of the spiciest wings at Wild Wings and only cried once. I don’t even really like spicy food.
Amanda Barrett, Visual Media Intern
From: Raleigh, NC
College: NC State University
Studying: Communication Media
What’s your favorite project so far in your internship? Putting together the story of a girl named Siamanta in Kenya. It’s been really cool to see the way her life has changed because of Water Mission.
What’s the best part of working at our HQ? Everyone is so kind and fun to talk to, and I feel very involved in what’s going on globally. There are also enough popsicles to have one basically every hour.
Tell us about your proudest accomplishment. I like to claim that I was Vine famous when one of my posts got 1,500 re-vines.
Sydney Blum, Communications Intern
From: Sanford, NC
College: NC State University
Studying: Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Design
Why did you want to intern at Water Mission? I think Water Mission provides a unique opportunity to help meet the physical and spiritual needs of people around the world so I wanted to be a part of that!
What’s your favorite project so far in your internship? Helping implement a system that will organize all of Water Mission’s photos so that they can be accessed easily from anywhere in the world.
What should everyone add to their Charleston bucket lists? Getting Jeni’s ice cream as often as possible!!
Elijah Melendez, Production Intern
From: Tampa, FL
College: The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina
What’s your favorite project so far in your internship? The most fun I’ve had was actually the hardest work! I was clearing out our storage area, Bay 3, and I spent a few days using the forklift and getting my hands dirty moving equipment around. It culminated in donating hundreds of blankets and clothes to Lowcountry Orphan Relief, another [local] nonprofit.
What’s the best part of working at our HQ? I’m tempted to say the food, but I think the culture at Water Mission is wonderful. Every morning we begin in huddle and focus our attention on God and His Word.
What does a typical day in the office look like for you? In production, there’s no typical day, really. One day I’ll be indoors working on inventory, another day I’m writing cost/benefit analyses, and another day I’m building a LWTS by hand with our amazing volunteers. I really enjoy the flexibility because no day is quite the same.
Olivia Harmon, Innovation Engineering Intern
From: Birmingham, AL
College: University of Alabama
Studying: Chemical Engineering
Why did you want to intern at Water Mission? I have always been passionate about the global water crisis, so I knew that interning for an organization that was constantly working to end it was a perfect way to apply my degree in chemical engineering to something that I truly care about.
What’s the best part of working at our HQ? The hands-on experience. Going into this internship, I knew it wasn’t the kind of place where I would just be grabbing coffee for people; however, I wasn’t expecting to be contributing to projects so much, and I love it!
What does a typical day in the office look like for you? Going to huddle and then engaging in production on the project we’re working on that day. I spend a lot of time on my feet and constantly learn new things. There is never a dull moment, which is so exciting!
Rachel Renfrow, Regional Walks Intern
From: Wilson, NC
College: East Carolina University
Studying: Business Management
What’s your favorite project so far in your internship? Contacting universities across the US about possibly hosting a Walk for Water.
What’s the best part of working at our HQ? Getting to see all the moving parts behind Water Mission as well as learning from wise, passionate individuals.
What does a typical day in the office look like for you? For the most part, doing a lot of research and cold calling to try to get more people involved in DIY Walks.
Jack MacLennan, Human Resources Intern
From: Anderson, SC
College: Anderson University
Studying: Human Resources
Why did you want to intern at Water Mission? I wanted to intern somewhere where my work would be helping and supporting the bigger picture. I believe all the interns at Water Mission are helping change lives.
Tell us your favorite Water Mission moment so far. Working in production for a day and helping put together a [safe water] system from start to finish!
What should everyone add to their Charleston bucket lists? Attend a Spoleto event and eat at Lewis Barbecue!
Now that you’ve met our amazing 2018 summer interns, comment below to encourage them as they continue their life-changing work this summer! We’re so grateful for the talent, passion, and joy they bring to our office.