Internship helps specialized studies major find passion for data analytics

Junior specialized studies major Logan Bruce discovered a passion for data analytics during his internship with TC Energy this summer. Now he has added a data analytics minor to his major which focuses on construction management by combining courses in management, business, and engineering technology and management.

A junior from Nelsonville, Ohio, Bruce’s path to college has featured military service, work in construction, and studying construction management at Hocking College. After graduating from high school, Bruce joined the Army National Guard. He works on helicopters in the National Guard and was deployed to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from June 2020 to June 2021. When he returned, he decided to stay close to home and use his GI Bill benefits to pursue his bachelor’s degree at Ohio University.

Bruce started at OHIO as a civil engineering major but learned about the specialized studies major during a UC 1500 Student Transition Seminar for veterans. He moved into specialized studies major, with the goal of completing his degree requirements and graduating more quickly.

This summer Bruce completed a construction management internship with TC Energy, a major North American energy company based in Canada that develops and operates energy infrastructure in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Bruce’s uncle works for the company and was able to connect him with the internship opportunity and host him in Houston while he completed his internship at the company’s U.S. headquarters.

Bruce said interning with TC Energy’s construction management team represented a way to step outside his comfort zone and try something new. He ended up performing data analytics for the team.

“I went in not knowing exactly what to expect,” Bruce said. “I guess that's the best way to go in. I didn't have very much knowledge of the oil and gas industry. Nor did I have any knowledge of Excel or coding.”

That didn’t stop him from finding a way to help TC Energy’s construction management team track their projects more quickly.

“It was a whole new experience,” Bruce said. “I ended up coming up with a new monthly report for them using Excel and I did a little bit of form design work, as well as a little bit of coding. I was able to find a new passion in data analytics through my internship.”

Bruce said he also enjoyed getting to visit a renewable natural gas (RNG) project where he was able to see how TC Energy has set up RNG compression stations that handle biogases such as the methane that livestock produce so those gases can be distributed through traditional pipelines.

Coming back to college after a three-year hiatus was one of the biggest challenges Bruce has faced, but perseverance is one important life skill he has picked up from participating in sports and from the military.

“Adapt and overcome,” Bruce said. “That’s a big motto and you’ve just got to keep going. There's no reason to stop.”

Being accepted into the specialized studies program was a big turning point for Bruce, making it easier to chart a clear path to graduation and secure and apply his GI Bill funding.

“I actually got a true path to follow,” he said.

Bruce appreciates the help and support of his academic advisor Didi Chilcott, who has helped to guide him through the process of changing majors and designing his own unique major.

“She's helped me every step of the way,” he said.

Graduation is still nearly two years away for Bruce and he intends to continue learning.

“There's still a lot of learning to do and you have to be willing to continue to learn,” Bruce said. “We're here to learn, and I think especially getting the technical understanding and the business side of construction will help me.”

He continues to balance school with work and his commitments to the Ohio Army National Guard. His unit is based out of Rickenbacker Air National Guard Based near Columbus.

Bruce encourages other students to make the most of their college experiences.

“Enjoy yourself,” he said. “Figure out who you are. Find something you enjoy. A lot of people focus on the monetary side of life rather than finding things they enjoy.”

This year Bruce has returned to an activity he enjoyed in high school and is putting his high school wrestling experience to work serving as an assistant wrestling coach at Alexander High School. He also hopes to get more involved with student groups on campus this year. 

Though Bruce is leaving his options open, he hopes to work in construction and project management after completing his degree.

September 23, 2022
Staff reports