We just wrapped up our summer 2019 internship program, but we are already on recruiting students for our upcoming 2020 summer internships. We’re also excited to connect with future transportation professionals through our upcoming university visits and our transportation career webinar, where we invite you to ask questions around what it’s like to intern or work at Kittelson.

If you’re currently researching and evaluating internship opportunities, we know you have a great deal of information to work through. So, as we launch into recruiting season together, we want to share some of the best advice our past interns gave us to help you prepare for our summer internship program.

What’s it like to work at Kittelson and how should you prepare? Here are a few tips from our 2018 and 2019 Kittelson interns that covers everything from finding an internship that’s right for you and making the most of your experience at Kittelson.

Register for Kittelson’s Upcoming Career Webinar!

Finding the Right 2020 Internship

Don’t simply look for something to add to your resume,

but look for an opportunity that will enhance your professional development. This means something that will allow them to do work that is meaningful to them and do it in a place that they could envision themselves working in the future, putting that place to the test. The idea of a mutual test-drive between the individual and the firm, agency, etc. is very fitting when considering this topic, and both sides should be constantly evaluating whether the work and culture are a good fit throughout the internship.

– Bryce Grame, 2019, Portland

The one thing I really wish I had kept in my mind while searching for internships…

…was that the companies who I was applying to wanted me to be the right fit for them, as much as I wanted them to be the right fit for me. So often during my second and third year, I would focus on getting as many applications out as possible that I lost sight of the real purpose: To get a job, to use your education, but also to make a difference.  The company is looking to hire you as much as you want to work for them; they have a need to get work done too.

– Vidhi Sachdeva, 2018, Portland

Be critical and self-reflective in the process of searching.

Ask questions about the type of potential work/projects you would work on. Even more importantly, ask questions about the values of the company, and how that reflects in their culture and benefits. Think about whether you prefer a 9-5 workday, and if you’re flexible with hours for project deadlines. Would you prefer to work in a social environment, or a quiet space? 

– Carmen Hom, 2018, Reston

Making the Most of Your Internship

There will be so many opportunities for you to grow, but definitely be willing to take initiatives,

whether it be to establish a connection with someone or to ask about what else you can do to contribute to a project you feel invested in. At first, reaching out to set up meetings with staff across the firm to get to know them felt intrusive to me, but I was quickly able to see the value in them and that everyone enjoys taking to time to hear from you as well. Over the course of the summer, I learned so much from Meet and Greets, including different perspectives about grad school, career paths in transportation (and, at times, not in transportation), and about the various types of work being done across the firm.

– Emily Chen, 2019, Orlando

No one has the unique perspective and voice you have.

Ask lots of questions and express your interests. The work is important, but the relationships you build here are equally as important. And it’s okay to tell people what you want. If you’ve always wanted to learn a specific skill or work on a new type of project, just ask. It can be intimidating at first, but putting yourself out there is an important step in your internship. Even if there’s not space for you on the project at least you spoke up and now more people in the office are aware of your interests.

– Kaitlyn Schaffer, 2019, Baltimore

Ask questions that will give you a glimpse behind the scenes.

How does scoping, budgeting, and billing work, how do we find teaming partners, how does a project lead become a project? I found that learning this background information helped me better understand the way my tasks fit into the bigger picture.

– Megan Morrow, 2019, Oakland

Embrace discomfort!

Inherent to learning new skills is making mistakes and feeling lost, and that can be uncomfortable. Lean into the discomfort and challenge yourself, and as you go along take note of what work you enjoy and find rewarding and what work you dislike. Also, set goals and be proactive/intentional with your time. The experience becomes so much more valuable if you set goals and take action to achieve them. Communicate these goals with your mentors and speak up to others to get involved in projects in ways that reflect these goals.

– Steven Kochvar, 2019, Bend

The Milton Group Activity

Outside of Work

My biggest advice for future interns would be…

…to take advantage of the opportunity to explore. I was so grateful for the opportunity to explore a new part of the country, the corporate world, different projects, and myself. The internship left me with more knowledge about who I am and what my future goals are – whether it be related to my career, my personal life, and even my running. I would advise the new interns to take the opportunity to do the same.

– Hana Herndon, 2019, Portland

Explore the city where you are interning.

Most likely you are in a new city where you haven’t spent too much time before. What a great opportunity! My co-workers in Baltimore provided a bunch of great recommendations. Knowing the ins and outs of a city can be difficult at first, but it was cool to have friends visit and get to show off my temporary home in Baltimore.

– Kaitlyn Schaffer, 2019, Baltimore

2020 Summer Transportation Internships at Kittelson

Every summer, Kittelson’s interns are placed all across our 26 offices. We match interns to offices based on the students’ interests and which Kittelson staff member can mentor them in their interests. We believe in giving our interns the workload of an entry-level transportation analyst to provide real-world experience that helps them focus on what they enjoy most. No matter your goals, we offer transportation engineering and planning internships every summer.

What’s it like to intern at Kittelson? You can learn more about transportation internships with Kittelson by visiting our internship page.

Start Your Career in the Transportation Industry by Registering for our Webinar!

Ready to learn more about internships at Kittelson & Associates, or the transportation profession in general? Every year, we offer a live webinar that gives students the inside scoop on our internship program, which also includes information covering transportation career opportunities. Our webinar will give you the chance to engage in a Q&A with our CEO Mark Vandehey or COO Brandon Nevers (depending which session you choose) and two of our engineering associates, Kylie Caviness and Jennifer Musselman.

We invite you to learn more about starting a career at Kittelson by learning what it’s like to work with us! Use the link below to register for our upcoming webinar on October 21 and 29. We look forward to meeting you.

Register for webinar