Juniors In Their Off-Term: Phoebe Hoffmann in Houston
While most of my teammates and friends are braving the cold at school or on their off-terms in New York, San Francisco, or Boston, I decided to migrate south for the winter. My hometown of Chicago has become known as Chi-beria and Hanover is just as wintery! Although I miss school, I am spending my time working in Houston, Texas. Though I have yet to fully get used to the omnipresent southern manner, I have been known to sport my cowboy boots on casual Friday and use ‘y’all’ in place of the old ‘you guys’. After a few years denying the efficient use of the word by my Kentucky-bread teammate, Ellen Meyer ’15, I must admit she’s been right all along!
I work for the company Select Energy Services, which provides a variety of resources for E&P companies to make their operations run smoothly from start to finish, including sourcing water, trucks, equipment and more for their operations. As an intern at such a multi-faceted company, my job has taken on many different shapes. When I’m not at my desk working as an analyst, I am traveling to different regions for client meetings and on site research. A few weeks ago, I went to Midland/Odessa and found that West Texas is just a different from Houston as Houston is from Hanover. In between meetings, my boss sent me into one of our trucking yards, where I got to drive a 130-bbl tank truck. Honestly, driving one of these trucks was one of the scariest things I have ever done; the seat is nearly ten feet off the ground and I was afraid of hitting something at every turn I made. Luckily, I made it out in one piece! Most recently, I was in Dallas where I was able to connect with football player Corbin Stall ’15, in between tech meetings.
In the coming weeks, I am traveling to Denver to research new opportunities for the company and our clients, and to Oklahoma City to do some manual labor at a few different stages of our operations. I’m not sure what’s in store for me there – but I just got a pair of steel-toed boots, so I can only imagine! Work has so far been a great experience; I have learned more than I ever could have in the classroom and I know there’s more to come!
Though work takes up most of my time during the week, I try to get out and explore during the weekends. I drove to San Antonio to see the Alamo, only to be shocked that for such a historically significant landmark, it is tucked away in the middle of a bustling city! Austin is next on my list of adventures, as many have said it’s a must see. Houston itself has at least five different areas that are “downtown”, but each one is roughly eight miles away from each other. I guess everything really is bigger in Texas! The lack of a central city area and no public transportation makes it hard to walk around and explore the City, so I have a long list of recommendations from locals. For starters, I’ve been to the Menil Collection and to a few architecturally praised parts of town. Luckily for me, two of my Dartmouth football friends, Scottie Whitmore ’15 and Keith Hamren ’15, are close by, so I have them to show me the ropes. We’re headed to the Houston Rodeo in March – I’ve been promised an unforgettable experience!
One of my favorite parts about Houston is the food – Mexican food has become a staple in my diet and I think I could be happy eating it every day! I had no idea what Queso con Carne was, but this meaty cheese dip is a must have appetizer. The people I’ve met down here have introduced me to crawfish, fish tacos, “real” barbeque brisket, and more! We even went to Galveston, on the coast, to buy shrimp fresh of one of the boats. As a picky eater, I’ve been surprised at how good some of it tastes!
I was lucky enough to visit Dartmouth for Winter Carnival! It was great to see my teammates and get a short-lived dose of winter. Being away from school has made me realize even more how much I love Hanover and everything about Dartmouth. It truly is a home away from home and I can’t wait to get back for spring term!!