Inspiration Goes Both Ways: Introducing Our Intern Program

by | Jul 22, 2022 | Employee Spotlight

Anytime we talk about our internship program, we find it important to emphasize how these types of programs should be set up in a mutually beneficial way. How does that work, you might ask? To be honest, we try to always be surprised by that answer.

We want to foster an environment where our interns can grow while sharing their knowledge and perspective, which means we’re all learning from one another. We asked our summer intern, Cole Patterson, to talk about his time with us so far.

Your Single Part Can Have a Big Impact

“Ascendant Facility Partners (AFP) struck a chord with me immediately,” says Cole. “I’d never considered the broad concept of energy efficiency within the context of engineering. Yet, once I did my research, the entire idea made complete sense. I felt like a client in a sense; I’d never thought of it, then couldn’t stop thinking about it.”

Cole’s other main draw was the fact that the market for this kind of work was relatively untapped. He knew AFP was doing excellent work within the community and knew that his role as an intern could have a significant impact. “I believe that many if not all, facilities will be using this kind of service in the future; it’ll just be the gold standard. AFP is already doing the work, so they’re ahead of the curve. I felt it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, and one that would make the best use out of my education and skills.”

We asked Cole to talk about his engineering path. “I’ve always been great at math, and it’s always been a big interest of mine. I focused on math through high school and college. I realized one day that one of the best ways to apply your math skills to the real world is through engineering; everything fell into place after that.”

Energy Savings is Pairing Form & Function with Opportunity

“What’s coming next?” Cole has asked this question his entire life. At one point, he stopped asking this question from the sidelines. “I’ve always been interested in how things function. Beyond that, I’ve had a deep interest in how technology can improve. Things have changed a lot even from when I was a kid. Working for a guaranteed energy savings company is the perfect pairing of form and function.

As an engineer, you must come up with solutions that accomplish both. You need to understand the technology aspects to achieve the results you want, but you need to design systems to complement the facility. It’s a worthwhile challenge, for sure.

One of my biggest surprises was just how vast the opportunities are in this industry for clients. Yet, AFP isn’t about low-hanging fruit. We want to give you that but also be looking 20-50 years down the road, too. I could talk about facility opportunities until I’m blue in the face, but there is also a tremendous need out there.”

We asked Cole how an opportunity is different from a need.

“When you see a facility that is really struggling; both to keep its occupants healthy and to simply be a relevant fixture of the community into the future, then I feel you have a need. Buildings aren’t those paper straws you get at a coffee shop; you don’t just throw them away when they start to lose their efficiency.”

Cole is right; AFP finds opportunities for energy savings, but we’re also fulfilling a need posed by the community to keep a promise, that the tremendous resources used to build a facility aren’t wasted simply due to outdated and shortsighted technology. Our very reason for existing is to give facilities a new lease on life.

Our Interns Have the Mindset, We Have the Resources

Cole is of the Gen Z generation, therefore, most aware of the future than any other. Global communication has never been broader and faster. Beyond that, climate change has never loomed larger.

“Energy efficiency will be in high demand when my generation takes the reigns. As resources become even leaner, the importance of using what we have wisely will be greater. Yet, we’re also a generation that is used to the newest thing. We love upgrades, and I can foresee us carrying that mindset into the larger conversation. We’ll be constantly looking to improve.

While Cole has the mindset to foster a more sustainable and efficient future, we have the resources to help him get there. As a guaranteed energy savings company, we’re constantly asking the same questions as Cole. “How can we do this better? What can we change now? Will this benefit the future?”

We asked Cole one final question; how’s the internship going?

“This internship has given me just the experience that I was looking for. I have gained so much knowledge from working under Managing Principal Russ Litsinger, and from going out into the field in facility walkthroughs to see hands-on what exactly we are working with. Ultimately, I have been extremely happy working with AFP, and I would be gracious to continue my career here to help build the company even more.”

We’re happy to have you, Cole!


If you’re interested or know someone that might be, feel free to reach out to us about any new intern openings at Ascendant Facility Partners.