Real-World Experience with an Amazing Team
September 17, 2019
We make our interns run AutoCAD, not for coffee.
At Olsson, we know college students get plenty of lecture time and opportunities to observe in the classroom. Our interns say they value the chance to do actual project work with mentors who share the kind of professional know-how you won’t find in a textbook or an electronic blackboard.
“Our goal is to give our interns as much real-world experience as possible to get them started in their profession,” said Haley Christensen, a human resources assistant who leads internship recruiting. “I think everyone really enjoys having the interns on board. It’s a great mentoring opportunity and they bring a lot of fresh ideas to the table.”
Our internship program is also a great recruiting tool for Olsson. More than 160 of the firm’s current employees – and 40 percent of our leaders – got their starts as interns. The list includes Chief Executive Officer Brad Strittmatter and Executive Vice President Melissa Newton.
Some of the approximately 90 students we employ each year work traditional summer internships. Others stay on throughout the school year, balancing their employment with their class loads. They get to work with cutting-edge technology, help prepare designs, attend meetings with clients, and see their projects take shape or even reach completion.
So, if you’re a student, look for us at your school’s job fair. If you’re a client, reach out anytime with a lead – we’re always looking for great talent.
As the students below will attest, Olsson interns learn, and earn, while on the job.
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
School: senior at University of Missouri-Kansas City
Major: civil engineering
Team: general civil; traffic and telecommunications in Overland Park, Kansas
Top project: I worked on a church project in Wichita, Kansas, which involved developing a report of the existing site conditions and helping generate AutoCAD sheets. I also attended a meeting with the clients in Wichita. That was fun!
Something you’ve learned at Olsson that you didn’t know from class: Working on AutoCAD 3D for the first time was great. I also got to see all phases of construction and participate in meetings with project partners such as architects and contractors. Everything I’ve done at Olsson has been a new experience.
Value of an Olsson internship: The people at Olsson work together. I have never hesitated to ask questions because my teams have always been happy to help me and teach me new things. I can’t imagine a better internship anywhere else.
Hometown: Webb City, Missouri
School: senior at the University of Arkansas
Major: mechanical engineering
Team: power delivery in Fayetteville, Arkansas
Top project: The project I’ve enjoyed most so far has been the Kansas City Aviation Department feasibility study, because I helped write the report for a new substation at Kansas City International Airport. The project provided a great opportunity to view the big picture of Olsson’s services first-hand. I’ve also worked on program management tasks for Liberty Utilities, in which my role has been developing tools for progress tracking.
Something you’ve learned at Olsson that you didn’t know from class: A key skill I learned was how to do drafting checks for a major electrical utility. I also learned a bunch of new terms and about the components used in substations.
Value of an Olsson internship: I appreciate the opportunity to do essential work on actual projects that the team is engaged in, rather than being assigned busy work. That has been the most valuable aspect to me.
Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska
School: junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Major: civil engineering
Team: traffic and technology in Lincoln
Top project: My favorite project is the North 33rd and Cornhusker project in Lincoln, which features a component to improve traffic safety and flow at one of busiest railroad crossings in the state. I have been heavily involved in projecting traffic volumes, creating study figures, and contributing to the traffic study for review by our municipal client.
Something you’ve learned at Olsson that you didn’t know from class: I learned how to operate technology tools such as MicroStation, a CAD application, and Synchro, a traffic planning and analysis software.
Value of an Olsson internship: I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to work on real-world projects with an amazing team. Also, it’s been rewarding to have the chance to meet new people and expand my network.
Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska
School: junior at University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Omaha campus)
Major: architectural engineering
Team: mechanical and electrical in Omaha, Nebraska
Top project: I have worked on data center projects, which included helping to conduct building audits and prepare as-built documents for clients. Other projects have included model setup/management, power layout and distribution, and lighting layouts and calculations.
Something you’ve learned at Olsson you didn’t know from class: I had the privilege of starting this internship the summer after my freshman year, so I came in with little technical knowledge of electrical systems and design. Nearly all the practical skills I’ve learned about these practice areas has come from my internship experience at Olsson.
Value of an Olsson internship: I have found it very beneficial to witness the interaction between internal disciplines, architects, municipalities, and owners.