Lab career computes for former student intern


The goal of most interns is to gain knowledge in their field of study, experience in a professional environment and insight into the direction of their career path. But for John Consolati, an internship in the Applications, Simulations, and Quality Division of the Computation Directorate transformed seamlessly into a career.

“School taught me how to learn,” Consolati said of his time at the University of Pacific in Stockton, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in management information systems and a minor in computer science.

It was his 2009 internship at LLNL that required Consolati to apply his learning skills to solve a problem the Environmental Restoration Division (ERD) faced with their field laptops. His job was to develop a way that these laptops, while in an environment without network access, could be synchronized with a dynamic Web-based information system. Access to the information system is necessary to provide personnel with additional tools and capabilities while they are at work in the field.

By November of the same year, Consolati was offered a full-time position. Consolati said that his experience as an intern provided “the foundation for what I’m doing now.”

That foundation also includes a number of professional and social connections that Consolati maintains as an employee. Although he was attached to a different organization, Consolati still works directly with many of the same people he did as an intern. And he is tackling a number of new challenges.

He is currently optimizing the data stream and database structure of the system that gathers and stores weather information from the Lab’s meteorological towers. The goal of his efforts is to increase reliability and reduce single points of failure within the system. Also, he is developing a Web 2.0 application to record, manage and report on wastewater discharge authorizations.

As a regular participant in a local CrossFit program, Consolati exhibits the same focus, determination, and intensity in his personal routine as he does at the Lab. However, he is not all business.

“On weekends, I enjoy taking day trips and exploring new parts of the Bay Area, catching up with friends, or any other excuse I can find to get out of the house,” Consolati enthusiastically stated.

This summer, Consolati is using his experience as an intern to mentor current students in his department. He also aided in the interview and candidate selection process.

“I feel like I have the skills to help these people learn,” Consolati said of his position as a mentor. He continued, saying, “Our team is pretty cohesive. There are quite a few other mentors on the team, so we are able to pick up each other’s slack.”

In fall 2011, Consolati plans to pursue a master’s degree in computer science or information and technology management while continuing to work at the Lab. But for now, Consolati is content to develop his professional skills in Web application development and systems integration.