Seizing an Out-of-state Internship Pays Off

Celena Shepherd, Communications

August 10, 2022

New state. New faces. New experiences.

All the above were realities when Olsson intern Aaron Saunders decided to move halfway across the country to join our Omaha, Nebraska, data center program. He was one of over 160 interns who joined Olsson this summer.

Aaron is studying industrial systems engineering at North Carolina A&T State University and knew he wanted to try an out-of-state internship. When he caught wind of an opportunity to move to Nebraska to learn more about how to keep data centers operating around the country, he jumped at the chance. We recently caught up with Aaron to learn more about his experience.

Q: What led you to join Olsson?

A: After college, I’d like to move out of state, so I was open to an internship somewhere new. One of my friends told me about an internship pilot program through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, which is how I heard about Olsson. One of the main goals of the pilot program is to attract diverse talent from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to the state and North Carolina A&T is the country’s largest HBCU and is nationally recognized in STEM education. I thought my internship with Olsson would provide a good opportunity for me to learn how to work in another state and go out of my comfort zone, so I went for it.

Q: Can you tell me about your internship so far?

A: I was nervous about what to expect since I’d never been to Nebraska, but the transition has been really smooth getting settled at Olsson. If you need something, everyone is willing to go out of their way to help you out and I’ve really appreciated that. I have also enjoyed learning more about Revit, AutoCAD, and other software programs this summer. It has been great going to data center sites and getting hands-on experiences as well as being in meetings and seeing what goes on behind-the-scenes. Olsson has left a great impression and I would definitely do this experience again.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring engineers?

A: Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to speak up and talk to people. Networking is huge and you never know how a conversation could benefit you in the future. And if you’re considering an out-of-state internship, take the leap of faith and trust yourself with what you are passionate about. If you’re curious about something and it feels right, then go for it.

Olsson hosts leadership from North Carolina A&T University, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, and interns from the pilot program this summer.