Internship Experience Leads UTA Graduate to Rewarding City of Arlington Career
By Office of Communication
Posted on July 14, 2017, July 14, 2017

City of Arlington Career

Dylan Tissue and fellow Environmental Compliance Officer Elijah Dorminy are out in the field taking water samples, flow measurements, and conducting pollutant analysis.

Graduating from college can be an exciting but stressful time. On average, making the transition from classroom to a full-fledged member of the workforce takes recent graduates about six months.

For some, like Arlington native Dylan Tissue, the path to their first full-time job was much shorter. Within 10 days of graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington in May, Tissue went from student and intern to a full-time Environmental Compliance Officer with the City of Arlington.

After graduating high school, Tissue attended Tarrant County College with an eye on a career in engineering. He said he chose to transfer to UT Arlington because of its "great location, low cost, and highly rated engineering program.” One semester into the program, Tissue realized engineering wasn't for him and began thinking about changing majors. While exploring his options, he realized the classes he'd enjoyed the most were two geology classes he took at TCC. This led him to pursue a degree in geology with a minor in biology.

Shortly before the start of his final year, Tissue learned of an internship opportunity with Arlington's Environmental Management Division of Public Works and Transportation. He applied as soon as he could and took the first step towards starting his career.

Why did you decide to work for the City of Arlington?

I decided to work here because I enjoyed the roles I was tasked with during my seven months as an intern, and I like the people I worked with. I also enjoy the fact that I get to help out my local community.

What are the duties/functions/responsibilities of your job and how does your job benefit the city?

My duties include monthly sampling of the local creeks in multiple locations to ensure there is not any pollution occurring, performing routine inspections of construction sites to ensure they don't have any pollution runoff, and inspecting City of Arlington properties to make sure they don't have any pollution runoff.

Why did this type of work interest you, and how did you get started?

This type of work interests me because I enjoy working outside in the field. I got started with this type of work with my internship with the City of Arlington after my interest in field work was sparked by the field course I took at UTA.

How well did your college experience/internship prepare you for this job?

Both my college experience, and my internship prepared me well for this job. While I was pursuing my degree in geology at UTA I was required to take a field course that was designed to prepare students for field work in geology, and environmental science. During this course I was trained to use chemical test kits similar to the ones we use at the city, and to use the same water quality meter that we use here. During my internship I learned what to look for while conducting construction inspections, and when looking for illicit discharges to the stormwater system.

What part of the job do you personally find most satisfying?

I care a lot about the environment, and knowing that my duties directly help to mitigate the impact we have on the environment is the most satisfying part of the job for me.

What kind of problems do you deal with?

The problems I deal with include some businesses that fail to place the proper controls to protect pollution runoff, and some residents that discard fluids and solid trash into the stormwater system. These are usually solved by educating people on the proper ways to dispose of fluids and trash, and educating companies on how to prevent pollution runoff.

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