Graduating Interns at Milwaukee Water Council

All three of our interns at the Milwaukee Water Council graduated this spring and are continuing to put their education to use in new ways. Both Ryan Matthews and Lisa Sasso are staying in the Milwaukee area and continue to work in the water industry. James Starzec is headed back home to Alaska to do urban planning work in Anchorage. We look forward to watching Ryan, Lisa and James as they develop and hone the skills they learned in both the UW System as well as their individually tailored internships.

A central part of our mission has always been facilitating and providing internship opportunities in the Milwaukee water industry. Developing future talent is integral to perpetuating the growth of the market and asserting Milwaukee as a World Water Center. We asked our graduates to tell us about their experience interning with us and what their plans are going ahead.

Ryan Matthews

I graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and a certificate in Digital Arts and Culture. Being an intern at the Milwaukee Water Council was an invaluable experience and served to augment the education I received from UW-Milwaukee. The staff at The Water Council were very welcoming and were always available when I needed help. I also appreciated the advice and direction I received from our members at quarterly meetings. I am fortunate to have had this opportunity to develop my skills in a growing market.

I look forward to continuing my work at the Water Council in my expanded role as a Communications and Development Associate. Much of my work will involve pursuing and writing grants and working with Rachel Wilberding on social media outreach. In addition to settling into full-time work, I will be getting married this summer and will be helping my fiancé experience her first summer living in Milwaukee. We’re looking forward to a summer full of Jazz in the Park, lakefront fireworks and plenty of festivals!

Lisa Sasso

In May 2012 I graduated from the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater with a BBA in Integrated Science and Business with a Water Resource Emphasis.  I currently am working with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District as a sustainability intern.  This fall I will begin my Masters program at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences.  I had a wonderful experience interning with the Milwaukee Water Council.  The MWC opened my eyes to all the avenues in the water industry.  I learned the importance of collaboration among the different sectors and how they are all connected.  Being able to speak to students about the water industry, attend staff meetings, and work with the Education Talent Committee made me feel like part of a team working to establish the importance of water in Milwaukee.

James Starzec

As a student in the Urban Planning program at UW-Milwaukee, I had the privilege of studying under Sammis White, and with his help, I was able to join the Milwaukee Water Council as a Graduate Intern.  Since November of 2010, I have been providing research for a variety of reports and databases for the Council as well as assisting in the planning of the 2011 and 2012 Water Summits.  The entire staff of The Water Council has been tremendously supportive and appreciative of my work, and has made me feel like a valued member of the office.

The Water Council has played a major role in helping me to focus my career track on economic development, and the experience and insights I have gained through my internship will be of great use to me.  I now enter the workforce with nearly two years of active participation in an E.D. organization, a proven record of accomplishments, and a deep familiarity of industry practices. The Water Council is a great organization, and I feel lucky to have had this opportunity.

About The Water Council

The Water Council, the only organization of its kind in the United States, was established in 2009 by Milwaukee-area businesses, education and government leaders. With more than 150 water technology companies in the Milwaukee area, the region’s water industry is a $10.5 billion dollar market and accounts for four percent of the world’s total water business. The non-profit organization is linking together global water technology companies, innovative water entrepreneurs, acclaimed academic research programs and, most importantly, some of the nation’s brightest and most energetic professionals. The Water Council is capturing the attention of the world and transforming the Milwaukee region into a World Water Hub for freshwater research, economic development and education. The Water Council is located in the Global Water Center at 247 W. Freshwater Way, Suite 500, Milwaukee, WI 53204.
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