Discussion Thread

Internships - Your Experience?

  • 1.  Internships - Your Experience?

    Posted 08-05-2019 10:13 AM
    Summer internships were a big deal when I was in school. I remember having 3 internships: geotechnical construction with Drill Tech Drilling, an international humanitarian project with Nourish International, and a structural design internship with my current employer Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Looking back I'm pretty happy with how I got a balanced mix of construction and design experience over those summers. 

    Please drop a comment below on your experience this summer. What has the internship taught you? How do you think it's prepared you for your upcoming semester or a full-time gig? What type of projects did you work on?

    For those that weren't able to land an internship this summer, check out Anthony Fasano's blogpost on How to Find A Civil Engineering Internship!

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    Paul Lee P.E.,M.ASCE
    Civil Engineering Associate
    Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power
    Los Angeles CA
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  • 2.  RE: Internships - Your Experience?

    Posted 08-05-2019 08:35 PM
    Hey Paul,

    I've been out of college 7 years now and the same holds true today as it did then: if you plan on going into the workforce after college and you want an employer to take you seriously, intern, intern, intern.

    That is all.

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    Dave Ureña, P.E.
    Banneker, LLC
    3104 N. Armenia Ave
    Suite 2
    Tampa, FL 33607
    813.415.7872
    dave@...
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  • 3.  RE: Internships - Your Experience?

    Posted 08-13-2019 12:18 PM
    Hi David,

    Thanks for the response. How much does it matter what type of internship students get? Should students stress out about landing the perfect internship? 


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    Paul Lee P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineering Associate
    Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power
    Los Angeles CA
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  • 4.  RE: Internships - Your Experience?

    Posted 08-13-2019 01:56 PM
    I found that it really doesn't matter. I had a friend intern with a surveying company for a few years and that helped him land his first civil engineering job out of college.

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    Dave Ureña, P.E.
    Banneker, LLC
    3104 N. Armenia Ave
    Suite 2
    Tampa, FL 33607
    813.415.7872
    dave@...
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Internships - Your Experience?

    Posted 08-07-2019 06:12 PM
    For myself, I've been in the same internship with Kroger for 3 years now. I work as a construction project manager and oversee "Pickup" (online grocery ordering service) construction for the Dallas division. I also help the other salaried Project Managers with their store remodels, expansions or new store construction. Honestly, it has helped me so much in understanding construction terms and processes from start to finish, which came in handy when I attended CI Student Days this summer. There isn't any design work, which I do wish I was exposed to at least a bit, but the construction exposure is excellent. They were also very flexible with my schedule, letting me work through every semester part-time and full-time in the summer.

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    Nalah Williams S.M.ASCE
    Regional Construction Co-Op
    Frisco TX
    (214)683-9648
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  • 6.  RE: Internships - Your Experience?

    Posted 08-11-2019 09:51 AM
    Hey Paul,

    I have graduated in 2013. And i have been interning with different companies; water, roads and now I'm working as a Civil Eng Counterpart/Intern on a hydropower project which combines many aspects of engineering: hydraulics, fluid mechanics, structural engineering, geo technical, tunnel engineering, to name a few. But I'm also learning about Project Management. 
    It has been a slow but great learning experience.



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    Lydie Edith Uwantege Aff.M.ASCE
    Counterpart-Civil Engineer
    Kigali
    250738210018
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  • 7.  RE: Internships - Your Experience?

    Posted 08-12-2019 08:16 AM
    Internships are a great opportunity to start a career with great companies, I got my first job through an internship. I encourage internships so I do this by welcoming new students for internships on my current project as the internship supervisor.

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    Nana Fredua Agyeman Kuma-Mintah CPEng, M.ASCE
    Marine-Site Inspector
    AECOM
    Accra
    233243157084
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  • 8.  RE: Internships - Your Experience?

    Posted 08-16-2019 11:05 AM
    My intern is something in my life which I cannot forget. I loved civil engineering field so I took civil engineering classes but while I was studying the classes I really felt what am I studying is practical? But my internship provided me the real start of my civil engineering journey where I actually exposed to the construction industry and I got how my theoretical knowledge is useful. I felt like I have started achieving something in my life. I was more focused on the management of the construction work and how the things go on site, not only management but also towards all the construction process from start to finish, and also I was exposed to the technologies (Mivan technology, post tensioning, pure tensioning,Gypsum plastering,Foam Concreting,Waterproofing techniques, Reinforcement detailing, Block work, False sealing, Fire proof designs, Planning, Design, scheduling, Inventory management, Staffing, Surveying,Marking, Foundations, Raft Foundation etc.)  used in the construction industry. That was really a start of my journey in the practical world of civil engineering and when ever I got free time I use to do internships instead of wasting my time.

    I did my internships at 
    1) Simplex Infrastructure Pvt.Ltd.- 9 towers of 30 floors each Residential project, "One Banglore West'10", Phoenix. Yeswanthpur Bengaluru.
    2) Divyashree Constructions.- An Institutional Dental college block construction and Road work. KRISHNADEVARAYA DENTAL COLLEGE, BANGLORE.
    3) Cicon Engineers Pvt.Ltd- An Institutional Library Block Construction.(presently Iam going here) SIR M VISVESVARAYA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY,Bengaluru.

    The best thing is I am still doing my internships after completing my degree also because of scarcity of jobs in the field of civil engineering that's the reason I am working for free right now, I don't mind because I am gaining knowledge, but in jobs we gain knowledge as well as money. It's OK to hope I will get the good opportunity in my life.

    Thats all people 🙌
    Thank you.👍

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    Somesh . Aff.M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
    Chitgoppa (rural)
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  • 9.  RE: Internships - Your Experience?

    Posted 08-19-2019 03:07 PM
    While I think getting an internship should always be your 1st priority, don't think that if you exhaust all efforts and don't get one that you will not be able to get an engineering job.  I know myself and many others had that pit in our stomach after not getting one after the career fair had come and gone.  All of us are now gainfully employed as Engineers.  If you don't land one, you still want to find other ways to fill those summers with career related experience.  Look for research positions at your or other universities.  Try to get job shadows.  Or work a job that will develop skills you can bring to your next career fair.  A (paid) internship may be the best thing, but it's not the only thing.

    Another thing that hasn't been said is something my late engineer grandfather used to say to me, "Sometimes it's better to know what you don't want to do."  You may have an internship and realize you don't really like construction, office work, design, transportation, structural, etc. work.  That's okay!  The adage, "Do what you live and you'll never work a day in your life" is, I feel, highly misleading and incorrect.  But, I can promise you that the opposite is very true, if you hate your job it will pour into the rest of your life and sour it.  An internship is the perfect way to see what a career might actually be like, without having to commit longer than a few months.  I learned that doing research work just doesn't appeal to me.  The program I did was great, I learned a lot, and worked with great people.  Ultimately it wasn't for me, and so that helped inform my plans moving forward.

    Get the most out of your internships!  Try to learn as much as you can about every aspect of the job and if you don't enjoy it see if there's something else there you may enjoy.  Hopefully you can make a little money along the way!

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    James Smith P.E., M.ASCE
    Design Engineer
    Grand Rapids MI
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  • 10.  RE: Internships - Your Experience?

    Posted 08-20-2019 08:16 AM
    Thank you so much for your advice, motivation, and concern you showed me. That really means a lot to me!
    Thanks you James Smith!


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    Somesh Ainapur Aff.M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
    Bidar, Karnataka
    India-585412
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  • 11.  RE: Internships - Your Experience?

    Posted 08-26-2019 09:36 PM
    I think this is a really interesting question, and one that employers should also be pondering about.

    I've learned a lot from my internships and I definitely stood out because of the work I did in each of them. But I do want to mention the other side of the coin, too. That is, some employers give interns the short end of the stick sometimes, and are not necessarily aware that potential employees (i.e. interns) are also interviewing the company during their internship period. It's unlikely that interns will come back to a company that gave them mundane or repetitive "intern" tasks. Sometimes it's a strategic move on the part of the employer to assign these types of tasks to interns, but if this is absolutely necessary, they should at least be showing the intern that the potential to grow and get involved in more diverse tasks may manifest when they become full-time employees. If not, the employer is losing an opportunity at good talent.

    I guess I mention all this to say: any internship is better than no internship, but if you have the privilege to pick and choose, pick one that gives you the most novel or diverse array of tasks. :0)

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    Kristine Mosuela EIT, S.M.ASCE
    Water Resources Engineer
    Centreville VA
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