Growing as a Young Professional
By: Kathryn Burns
When I had made the decision in the fall of my senior year to reapply for this cooperative learning experience, it had been the easiest decision I’ve ever had to make. After thoroughly enjoying my first internship with the amazing civil department at CT Consultants Fairlawn office, I was so excited to get the opportunity to intern again this summer. I had my heart set on continuing to learn more about the topics that my first internship went into. This included exploring the multiple facets of civil engineering: providing clean water, wastewater treatment, finding ways to preserve the environment while creating infrastructure, and working with governments to make the designs a reality. While working with a traffic engineer, I visited various schools that had outdated signs and see a traffic study simulation. I loved these experiences and tried to express my desire to work with a company that was focused in civil engineering during my interviews.
I was chosen by Osborn Engineering which is a consulting firm and has a transportation group in Akron that I was specifically assigned to. I admit that I felt a bit apprehensive because I had very little experience with traffic engineering and I wasn’t sure if I would like it as much as I had other parts of my first internship which was more civil focused. I’m extremely grateful that I was able to get to focus on a different area of civil engineering because I learned so much during my internship.
First, I was able to deepen my understanding and ability to use AutoCAD which is a design program that I was introduced to in my first internship. I was able to work on and address issues that our clients had on road rehabilitations and other road projects. There were quite a few tips and tricks that my coworkers showed me that really helped improve my AutoCAD skills and overall efficiency when it came to completing tasks. In addition to increasing my AutoCAD experience, I started to learn how to use MicroStation which is another design program. This program is used specifically for designing structures like bridges and projects for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). While the program was different from AutoCAD, I was able to adapt to it and complete jobs including drawing existing framework for a bridge, create sheets with important design details, and edit designs to make sure they were correct. The information and skills I learned during my internship are so valuable and something that will really help me in the future.
In addition to this, the company offered meeting times for interns from all departments to come together and learn more about some of the basics of the engineering industry. I really gained a lot from these meetings. It helped me be able to problem solve and find answers to questions on my own instead of running to a coworker. Overall, my internship experience was amazing from all of the information I learned, the wonderful and kind people that I worked with, and the priceless real-world experience I received. I would recommend the All Akron Student Engineering Program to any student even if they aren’t looking to go into this field because of the amazing opportunity to learn and grow as a young professional.