Purdue University Northwest
Major: Civil Engineering
Intern Division: Traffic Engineering
After choosing to study civil engineering in school, I heard about the INDOT Engineering Scholarship Program and had wondered why I had never heard about it before. The opportunity to work for an agency like INDOT during the summer, while receiving a scholarship and having a guaranteed job when you graduate is very rare. After applying to the program and getting accepted, I was extremely excited for the next couple summers.
During my time in the program, I have interned with Highway Maintenance for one summer and with Traffic Engineering for the last two summers. Working with both groups has been extremely beneficial for the rest of my career, because of everything I have learned and because of all the projects I have been able to work on. This being my second summer with the Traffic Engineering Division in Central Office, I have been able to work on some more in-depth projects than I have in the past. My focus this summer was an interchange analysis project, where I was able to work on a project basically from start to finish. From an initial traffic analysis of the interchange, to sketching alternatives with cost estimates, and writing a Project Intent Report, I went through the whole process just as a full-time employee would. I think this was a very beneficial experience for me, and it shows that INDOT wants interns to learn by doing actual work.
Having been in the program for three years, I have learned a lot about INDOT and transportation engineering. No matter who I was working with at INDOT, they were all extremely willing to teach and answer any questions I had. Being in the program has shown me is that INDOT is full of people who love their job. Almost everyone you talk to will tell you that they really enjoy what they do, which I think not only shows a lot about the people who work within INDOT, but also about the agency itself.
Overall, I think that the INDOT Engineering Scholarship Program is one of the best programs a future civil engineer can be a part of. The ability to work with different groups throughout INDOT, and work on projects that will translate to full-time work, is something that will be invaluable after you graduate. Anyone looking to get a head start in their field of interest, or find what theirs is, would surely achieve that in this program.