Liza Goss ’18 @ American Water Enterprises

Posted on Posted in Externships, Student Contributor, Summer Opportunities

We often take for granted the ready access to clean drinking water and the disposal of wastewater in our lives.  For most of us, there is no guessing game when it comes to turning the knob of a fossett. We are fortunate enough to know, not hope, that clean water will come out.  This past week I was fortunate enough to spend time at American Water Enterprises located in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. American Water is the largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility in the United States. American Water serves around 15 million people and employs 6,800. There are three branches within American Water.  First, there is homeowners branch, this branch educates homeowners on the importance of insuring the water and wastewater pipes on their property. The second branch is the contract services group; this group focuses on providing water to different groups for example a town or a school.  Lastly, there is the military service group; this is where I spent the majority of my time.  The military service group has 12 United States Military bases and it provides the water and wastewater services to the bases.  I was able to spend time in all three branches meeting with many different employees and learning a great deal about the company.

Goss photo
Liza Goss with host Carol Sibley (PP’81, GP’17), HR Business Partner

Throughout my week I bounced around spending time with environmentalists, the human resource department, project development teams, federal government affairs, recruitment, and more.  I was able to sit in on staff meetings in hear from the president of the company on upcoming changes.  Throughout this week I learned a lot about not only water an wastewater plants and the work that goes into making sure they run smoothly but also about the many different departments that make up a business.  I was able to see the many branches working together and the sense of teamwork among all members of American Water fostered a supportive and hard working environment.  It became increasingly apparent to me that the employees of this company care about not only each other, but also the success of American Water.

One thing that was particularly interesting to me about this company is the way all of the moving parts and different positions across not only the 12 separate military bases that the Military Service Group supports but also the two other branches of the company support, Contract Services and Homeowner Services.  From maintenance workers up through corporate employees the goals of the company remain the same. I learned a lot from this experience and I am grateful to the many employees of American Water who took the time to meet with me as well as Gettysburg College for helping to connect me with this great company.