Engage in proactive and practical steps to continue the conversation.
In part one of this series, we shared the importance of vetting opportunities to determine if a firm or organization’s environment is right for you. Is there close alignment with a company’s operations and values and your own? Once you’re confident in the guiding principles and opportunities presented, it’s time to engage in practical steps to demonstrate how this is a good fit – and why you’re worth their investment.
Building time into the process not only gives the firm a chance to make the right decision, but it gives you the time you need to reflect as the process unfolds. It’s important you feel confident with each step forward.
Research internship programs, take the time to really reflect on your opportunities, and follow up after each step of the process.- Amy Griffiths, 2018 Kittelson Intern
Show your research.
You’ve taken the time to learn about this firm’s areas of specialty, company culture and how they structure their internship program. Verbalize what stands out to you about this firm so the points of alignment are clear.
Interview timelines can vary significantly from firm to firm. Don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer about the timeline of his or her firm’s interview process, so you can make plans accordingly.
Asking good, hard-hitting questions will show potential employers that you mean business.- Cameron Bennett, 2018 Kittelson Intern
Demonstrate how your values align.
Firms that invest in their employees will want to know that you fit into the culture not only in terms of skills, but values, too. Explain your understanding of the company’s values and how they’ve played into decisions in your own life.
Demonstrate why you’re passionate.
At Kittelson, we don’t look for interns who are already transportation experts. We look for interns who are passionate and excited about diving into the industry and making an impact on communities through transportation solutions.
Reach out to local professionals—maybe even alumni of the program/university you attend—who you can seek also as mentors.- Dara Osher, 2018 Kittelson Intern
Know how to talk about your previous experience.
Whether or not your examples are specific to transportation, it’s important to be able to express where you’ve succeeded and how you got there. Humility goes a long way, but think about how to describe your previous accomplishments in a manner that gives insight into your work ethic, values and commitment to excellence.
It's really important to highlight your previous experience in a positive way. I have a habit of undercutting some of my achievements, because I don't think they're that important or relevant, but they are.- Vidhi Sachdeva, 2018 Kittelson Intern
In an industry built on relationships, continue to build rapport through consistent and professional contact. If you make it to the interview stage, ask about your interviewer’s preferred method of communication. Be thoughtful in your follow-up, and consider in every stage how your communication can provide value and continue to shape this firm’s understanding of why this is a good fit.
Join our webinar!
Kittelson & Associates is passionate about supporting students on their journey into the transportation industry. One way we do this is through hosting a live webinar every November. During this webinar, we share project examples, discuss careers in the transportation industry, and provide tips on how to get started. We also see this webinar as a great way to meet potential Kittelson interns.
If our program interests you, we encourage you to sign up for one of our two webinar sessions. We look forward to meeting you, and we wish you the best of luck on your internship journey!