University of Southern Indiana
Major: Civil Engineering
Intern Division: Design
I started my search for an internship in late 2021, when I found the Indiana Department of Transportation online and saw they had many openings for civil engineering students within their Vincennes district. My dad worked for the State of Illinois his whole career and retired with them, so I knew state work was something I wanted to explore for myself. I had seen the positive impact it had on his life, so assumed it could have a similar impact on mine.
I started my internship in late May and had high hopes. My internship description was somewhat broad, so I had an idea of what to expect but not completely. On the first day I was introduced to the workers within my office and their various roles; I even got my own cubicle with a window to work in. I was not expecting to be treated with the amount of kindness I received within my first several weeks of the internship. I was able to watch a lot of training videos to get me adjusted to the company, the software they use, and how the engineering side of things operate. There is a lot that goes into this department of INDOT, like many others, so this was interesting to learn about to start my summer. Most of my summer was spent shadowing various coworkers and performing tasks for different engineers that had many years of experience working for INDOT. I was able to learn a lot about all the different stages that occur during projects and the different roles that work together on projects. This summer I was also able to attend a consultant fair and listen to INDOT discuss projects and recommendations with engineering consultants/contractors. This also gave more insight into the behind the scenes work the design department does with outside companies and resources.
My favorite part of this internship was being able to watch the engineers complete various tasks and be able to ask them any questions I had about their specific job or the field in general. Overall, I had a positive experience working with the Indiana Department of Transportation this summer in their design department. I still feel like I have a lot to learn, but gained valuable experience within the field I want to pursue my career in. I was treated with kindness, compassion, and respect throughout the entire summer, which made my experience that much better. This summer experience was a good reminder of why I chose to major in civil engineering and I am thankful for the opportunities I got while interning with INDOT.