Advancing San Diego Intern Spotlight: Noah Chavez, ALD Technical Solutions

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based companies with fully subsidized interns. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students are closing out their Fall engineering internship experiences, EDC is reintroducing this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the second cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted.

In this feature, we sat down with ALD Technical Solutions intern and UCSD student, Noah Chavez. A part of the second cohort of host companies, ALD Technical Solutions is a cost-effective innovative solution provider that repairs, retrofits, and upgrades offshore and onshore infrastructures using high quality and high performance composite materials. ALD specializes in developing and supplying high performance, high temperature, high chemical resistance, and underwater composite systems. Additionally, the company provides material selection, engineering design, project planning, contractor/ installer training and approval, written specifications, on-site quality control, quality assurance, and technical oversight. You can learn more about the company via its Advancing San Diego Company Spotlight: ALD Technical Solutions.

Read on for more from Noah.

Tell us about yourself. 

I am a San Diego native and currently a senior at UC San Diego, majoring in Structural Engineering and anticipating graduating this summer. I also plan to begin my graduate degree in the fall at UC San Diego. ALD Technical Solutions has provided me with the opportunity to witness first-hand how theoretical topics can be applied to improve our surroundings. Thanks to the hard work of all the members at ALD Technical Solutions, we have been able to make a direct impact on our surroundings. I personally believe that the community surrounding us should be viewed as home, and this internship opportunity has allowed me to apply my knowledge in areas that will help me give back to the city I call home.

How has your experience in the Advancing San Diego Internship Program been, and what projects/assignments have been the most meaningful?

My internship has been valuable because of the positive impacts it has on our community. The overall well-being of our planet has long been neglected until recently. With new focus being put on our impact on the environment, ALD has found ways to not only improve our community, but to do so in an eco-friendly manner.

Some projects/assignments that have been most meaningful for me are retrofitting old and damaged structures, allowing for materials to be conserved, and retrofitting ACSR lines, which allows for the infrastructure in-place already to handle the demand green-energy-output puts on the power lines. These projects have been most meaningful to me because not only does it ensure the safety of my fellow neighbors, but it also puts our environment first.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your day-to-day, and what challenges have you faced as a student?

COVID-19 has limited the amount of accessibility I have to work on specific opportunities due to the fact that face-to-face meetings are necessary in our area of work. The limited opportunities provided makes it difficult to gain the required experience; however, Advancing San Diego has given me the opportunity to gain the proper experience, all from the comfort of my home.

What advice would you give to high school students looking for a successful career in the local software industry? 

It is easy to feel discouraged and as if your work is not paying off. I would always hate when my parents would tell me this, but my life experiences have only validated the truth behind the message: “Be patient, your time will come. “Just be patient, and slowly you will see the pieces fall into place.


Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

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