With twelve Kittelson interns working in ten different offices across the United States, one of the most valuable experiences we can provide is the annual summer Intern Jamboree, a chance for interns to connect, collaborate, and engage with transportation professionals and perspectives inside and outside of Kittelson. Held from July 8–12 in Portland, Oregon, the 2019 Intern Jamboree was an eventful week including presentations, leadership panels, a four-hour city bike tour, and of course, expeditions to find the best food Portland has to offer.
Throughout the week, our 2019 class of interns were involved in activities centered around the future of transportation and what it looks like to work in the profession. Senior Principal Engineer Brandon Nevers kicked off the week by sharing his journey working in transportation and the endless possibilities he saw for each intern in the room to form their future in the profession. He noted how the industry is rapidly changing and how future transportation professionals have an important role in contributing positively to these changes and moving the profession forward.
“Brandon gave us insight into the experience of watching himself and his peers transition into leadership roles throughout his career, and it was somewhat of a surreal moment imagining the decisions that could be made by my fellow interns and I. This motivates me all the more to be diligent in preparing for my career.”- Bryce Grame, 2019 Kittelson Intern
Another highlight of the Jamboree was the Town of Milton activity, which divided the group of twelve interns into three consulting groups. The groups were tasked with proposing corridor improvements in the town of Milton to the “City Fathers.” The corridor had a number of considerations that were examined by each consulting group: environmental and historic district impacts, multimodal service for freight, bikes, passenger vehicle and transit uses, and previous community pushback to lane additions. The activity spurred collaborative problem solving under a time constraint as the interns were challenged by real problems that transportation engineers face. The interns gained experience in presenting their proposed solution to a very divided audience, as Kittelson staff acted as the City Fathers with very conflicting opinions and objectives, giving the interns a taste of everything to consider when planning a proposal. The Milton exercise provided the interns with lessons on teamwork, presentations, and defending their work.
Being immersed in the work is one of the best ways to learn, which is why the Portland bike tour was an important part of the Jamboree. During this four-hour bike ride, interns met transportation engineers and planners working around Portland and saw firsthand the implemented solutions to transportation challenges throughout the city.
“The bike tour provided a unique perspective on Portland’s innovative transportation infrastructure and allowed us to get to know the city in a really significant way.”- Emily Chen, 2019 Kittelson Intern
Of course, what makes the Intern Jamboree meaningful are the people involved. It was the hard work of our Intern Jamboree coordinators— Russ Doubleday, Jacqueline Gulczynski, and Joe Toole—and many other staff members that made the Jamboree such a fun and knowledge-filled event. Thank you to our 2019 interns for participating, engaging, and going the extra mile to connect with Kittelson staff and get maximum value out of the experience. Goodbyes are difficult, especially after an eventful week, but our interns now feel more equipped than ever to stay in touch with each other and collaborate across offices as the summer internship program continues.
Kittelson’s internship program takes place every summer. We look for graduate and undergraduate students with open minds, a passion to learn about the transportation profession, the ability to think critically and solve complex problems, and a drive to move the industry forward. We will soon be accepting applications for 2020 internships, so if you are interested, learn more about the program here.