Start with your passion, explore your options, and ask thoughtful questions.
Your career is a long arc, and you’ll benefit down the road by taking thoughtful steps today. Here are some we recommend.
Find your passion and follow it.
Kittelson has helped students discover and grow their passion for transportation since the early days of the firm’s existence. This commitment is rooted in our core values—serving others first, raising the bar, and learning every day, to name a few. We encourage you to get to know the people, clients, culture, and ways of doing business of a variety of different organizations. The extra effort to do so will pay dividends into the future.
Learn what drives you.
Look internally. What drives you? What environment will help you thrive? Can you stretch beyond your comfort zone, or do you prefer a “safe” choice? Are you willing to invest in finding a long-term career fit, or are you simply seeking a job? Whether you’re about to enter the professional world or you’re already part of it, make sure the job you accept is one that leads to a rewarding and fulfilling career for you.
Find a good match.
How can you find an employer who offers the best fit? Talk to college career counselors, professors, or other students. Professional societies, publications, and contacts can also provide guidance. Use LinkedIn or other online platforms to contact companies of interest to ask for informational interviews. Don’t underestimate the power of these meetings—industry professionals genuinely enjoy giving back in this way.
A cautionary note—we don’t recommend sending a barrage of resumes to various employers without thought or care. Do your homework, tailor your cover letter and resume, and follow up with genuine and inquisitive questions. If you treat an employer with respect and interest, odds are good that they’ll reciprocate.
Evaluate your options.
What aspects of the profession interest you? When we engage candidates, we ask many questions—about their passion and interest in transportation versus another discipline, how they’d feel working for a private consulting firm versus the public sector, what size and structure of firm—hierarchical or flat—would best help them flourish, whether they’d prefer an urban or rural working environment, whether a multidisciplinary or specialty firm would offer the best opportunities—and so on.
We encourage you to explore the many options in front of you, ask lots of questions, and process answers according to your style and needs. Be able to explain your preferences to potential employers in a balanced, meaningful way.
Assess your offers.
At Kittelson, we seek the alignment of values and interests first, but we understand that it is equally important to provide fair and reasonable compensation. Our total compensation package directly reflects our firm values and goals—to set our people up for future financial independence; to offer benefits allowing for the greatest flexibility for different wants and needs; to offer salaries commensurate with the top half of the market (pre-bonus); to provide equal opportunity to share in year-end profits based on individual performance; and to provide flexible paid time off that staff are not forced to “use or lose.”
We encourage you to think about benefits and compensation in a holistic way, to be sure that what is offered matches the values and goals that are important to you.