Internship leads recent alumna to Fortune 500 company

In her new job in Honolulu as a scientist for AECOM – a Fortune 500 Company – Sari Kwan ’16 works heavily with the United States Navy in remedial investigation. Basically she goes to sites to take samples of soil, water, and/or biota to determine the chemical and physical properties of the site so that AECOM can develop the best plan for remediation.

This position allows Sari to utilize the internship support she experienced while at Dominican with the knowledge she gained as a Biological Sciences major in the School of Health and Natural Sciences.

“What I can apply to my job is the general understanding of the purpose of environmental protocol,” Sari says. “There were many environmental concepts I learned that help me analyze my work.”

At Dominican, Sari was a highly-recruited volleyball player from Punahou School.  She was the Penguins’ “Newcomer of the Year” as a freshman. Sari was drawn from Hawaii to Dominican by the beauty of the campus, the academic scholarships, and the proximity to the Bay Area and the conveniences that offered.

The Biological Sciences program provided an emphasis in ecology and environmental science, while internships gave her on-the-job training. Both her advisor, Dr. Vania Coelho, associate professor of Biology in the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and adjunct professor Erik Nelson supported and encouraged her. They helped lead and prepare her for internship opportunities from the beginning of her freshmen year.

Starting in the Wastewater department, Sari interned at AECOM for three summers prior to starting full-time this summer in the Environmental department.  AECOM is one of Fortune magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” and ranked No. 1 in Engineering New Record’s Top 500 Design Firms. AECOM, a global company, has an office in Honolulu. Sari’s work with the Navy could take her to Guam within the next year and possibly to Japan.

In addition, Sari’s job connects her with the petroleum industry. She assists clients with release response investigations and remedial actions to comply with Department of Health regulations.  The investigations include soil, groundwater, and soil gas investigations along with preparing Hazard evaluation and Management Plans. AECOM helps clients to remain in compliance with local, state, and federal laws.


August 1, 2016