At Piedmont Biofuels we have been running biodiesel internships since Chris pitched a tent in the side yard in July of 2004.
Since then we have launched dozens of interns into the world, and we remain committed to sustaining Internships.
Today we have three types of Internships on our project.
The first is for farm interns. If you are interested in interning on a sustainable farm, you can contact Doug, who runs Piedmont Biofarm. Or you can contact Jason and Haruka who run Edible Earthscape. At any given time we might have six or seven farm interns on project.
The second is for biodiesel interns.
Our biodiesel internships tend to be specific to individual departments. We will typically run one intern in “production,” that is making fuel and managing co-products and working in the plant.
We typically run one intern in “research and analytics.” This tends to be work in the lab.
And we sometimes have interns involved with the “collection” side of the business, which involves riding shotgun on our fleet of trucks.
Internships are unpaid. Which means if you are going to Intern with us it would be best to bring your own “walking around money.” Perhaps it is best to think of a Piedmont Internship as being more like “going to college.” We think in terms of semesters, since we run our internship dates in conjunction with Central Carolina Community College. Our interns are expected to enroll in the Biofuels Class at the college, and the tuition for that class is covered upon completion.
Please also note that as rotten as it seems, we have more intern applicants than we can handle, and that we reject more than we accept. If you really want to intern at Piedmont, you do need to come to an interview before you can enter the program.
The third way to intern with us is through Central Carolina Community College itself. These internships are shorter and tied to course curriculum. For these internships, talk to Andy.
We do take our Internships seriously. And regrettably, we have way more people apply than we can take. To get an internship with us, you have to visit and do an interview. A good way to do this is on Sundays. Many of our Intern candidates come for the 1:00 Sunday tour, and stay afterward for the interview.
To line that up, contact Lyle. He’s our current Intern Co-ordinator.
If you get accepted, we will do an “intake” with you at the beginning of the semester in order to tailor your experience to what you are interested in doing. We then monitor that as the semester progresses, and we do an exit interview at the end of your time with us. We ask that you submit a blog entry before you depart so that you can share your experience with the rest of the world.
Here are some blog entries from past interns:
Ray now runs our production department. Here is a fascinating piece from his point of view. Nick joined us from New Jersey. Here’s his take. Here is the first ever journal entry from Chris. And here’s Pedro’s take on us. Pedro was from Guatemala. We no longer accept international interns. Blame Homeland Security for that. Greg came to us from New York, stayed on as a senior intern, and now plays an instrumental part in our Research and Analytics effort. He penned this at the end of his internship. David followed a similar path. He now runs our Design Build group and is a central part of our management team. This is what he wrote. Not everyone stays around, of course, and it is important to note that interning with us is not a promise of employment, nor is it a protracted job interview. We’ve had 3 interns named Emily. Here’s what Emily 1 had to say. And here is a tear jerker from Emily 2. Here’s one from Lindsay, who went on to work for the National Biodiesel Board. Not everyone gives us good reviews, of course. Those who were disappointed with their time at Piedmont tend to not send in their essays. Which of course means they get deleted from the historical record. But here is a critical one from Marc. Here is an artful entry from Willy. He went on to become a cowboy. And here is one from Forrest. This Interns’ Journal came from Tim, who stuck around for awhile as a draftsman for Design Build. When he left to get married, he mailed his boots back to Holden, the new intern at the time. We don’t have a lot of turnover at Piedmont. People leave when they fall in love. Or die. Or get laid off because of economic conditions beyond our control. Here’s a recent entry from Scott.
Everyone knows that it is easier to leave on life’s big adventure than to be the ones left behind, and even though not everyone who interns with Piedmont gets their essay in, we still think about many of the interns who have passed through our project.