Reflections of a Summer in Las Vegas


Reflections of a Summer in Las Vegas

Nicole Plunkett-Reid, TERPconsulting’s first summer intern.

It was a first for TERPconsulting this summer when we welcomed our first-ever intern, Nicole Plunkett-Reid, a Fire Protection Engineering Major from the University of Maryland. Before Nicole set out on her cross-country trek back to start her senior year, we sat down with her to reflect on her internship. 

Favorite thing about being an intern at TERPconsulting? Everyone is so accessible and friendly. The TERPteam made me feel welcome and were happy to answer any questions or show me how to do something. 

What were your expectations about coming to Las Vegas for the first time? I imagined walking through all the casinos and hotels and looking at the various sprinkler systems and egress patterns. While I did plenty of that, I found out there is also a lot of writing involved. It’s simple and to the point. When writing a report, we identify the issue and provide a solution(s) based on the applicable code. My summer in Las Vegas has definitely helped to improve my technical writing. 

What was the most interesting or new thing you learned about Fire Protection Engineering? I learned about Smoke Modeling. The first time it was explained to me I didn’t understand it at all. It was confusing. Thanks to AJ in our Phoenix office I get it, and smoke modeling is now one of my favorite things. 

Hopes or expectations as you head back for your senior year? Ironically, I’m taking a smoke modeling class, so I’m way ahead of the game. I already understand the concept and the software. I’m also taking a sprinkler class in the fall. This summer I’ve had tons of experience reviewing and identifying sprinkler systems. I have a leg up going into the semester, and the best part is I now have some built-in tutors if I need any help.

What’s the biggest takeaway from your internship? It was great to work independently and also work as a team. While I was preparing a report, others were working on different aspects of the project and it was cool to see how it all comes together. I love collaboration and teamwork. 

Most memorable experience? The girl’s day at the pool. It was nice to have a relaxing day getting to know all the girls from the office. 

What’s your leave behind? I absolutely fell in love with Vegas! I didn’t think I was going to like it. I’d love to move here! My summer at TERPconsulitng introduced me to so many new things and allowed me to truly grow as a Fire Protection Engineer. I’m grateful for the team and everyone that took the time to teach me something new. 

What’s Next? I understand your TERPconsulting chapter isn’t quite over? I’m very excited and grateful to have an opportunity to work for TERP part-time from school. My official internship is coming to a close, but my relationship with TERPconsulting and everyone in Las Vegas will continue! 

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