Total-Western News

Meet the Intern: Liam Janssen

Up next, we have: Liam Janssen!

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Liam is a Junior at California Polytechnic State University majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

Where are you from? How did you decide on your university for school?

I grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia. When applying for schools, I was pretty set on California because of its weather, attractions, and overall vibes. I applied to several universities and ultimately chose Cal Poly for its engineering program, location, as well as its excellent graduate statistics.

How did you decide on your major? Why are you interested in pursuing a career in construction?

I really enjoy the application of theoretical physics to engineering and construction principles, so mechanical engineering seemed to be a good mix of these.

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What initially interested you about the Total-Western Internship Program?

My concentration for my Mechanical Engineering degree is Energy, and after researching and interviewing with Total-Western, I knew that the company was heavily involved in the energy industry. I was really excited to learn more about refineries and power plant operations so Total-Western seemed like the perfect fit to help introduce me to those worlds.

How’s it going so far?

It’s going great! I feel like I’m finally understanding the content and that I can independently work on my summer project with my partner without the constant guidance of my peers. I also feel super close to my fellow interns and the collaboration has extended outside of just our summer project groups, which has been really nice. Furthermore, I’m really enjoying the jobsite walks as they allow me to see both the theoretical and practical application of engineering and construction in action.

Liam Janssen 2

What are you enjoying most?

The thing that I enjoy the most is the process of being able to review job documents, schematics, scopes of work, etc. and then visit the jobsite where I can visually see the stuff that I’m learning in-person. I’m also really enjoying learning about where theory/office work differs from practical application; things like how tired the crew gets or weather are factors that we don’t really learn about in the classroom but become super important in the real world.

What job site are you currently at?

Right now, I’m traveling between our sites at Honeywell, Santa Paula, and General Atomics.

What do you hope to gain by the time your internship concludes?

Real-world experience of what a career in this industry entails. I’d also like to build my communication skills, familiarize myself with the systematic approach to industrial construction, as well as learn more about the energy industry, in general, and the trajectory its heading.


We hope this internship will help you learn a lot, Liam – enjoy this time! We’ll check back in with him in a few weeks.

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