Internship, mentorship, and more

Rhianna Adkins landed on engineering and never looked back.

“I just fell in love with all of the different aspects of site design,” she said. “You work with cities and get to be personable and meet a lot of people. I also liked the opportunity to do different types of designs. It’s different every day.”  

Two years ago, Rhianna secured an Olsson internship. Now she is an assistant engineer on our site design team.

After earning her B.S. in civil engineering from Texas A&M University, Rhianna moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to start her career.

“Mentors here really built my confidence and helped me learn,” she said.

“They’ve taught me so much and pushed me to get a little uncomfortable and try new things. Now, I feel more confident in the decisions I’m making.”

We asked Rhianna how she turned her passion for site design into a career.

What do you enjoy about site design work?

What makes it so special is getting to talk to people, hear feelings on a project, and see the positive impact and outcome.

I’ve heard city managers express their excitement for a project and how it will help a community. You can’t beat that.

What does a typical workday look like?

You’re working with clients, designing, communicating with your team, and more. It’s really something new every day. Some days I'm working on one project and other days I'm working on five different projects. I like that I’m never bored.  

If you like being on your toes and being flexible, site design is a great path.

Also, if you like communicating with people and being in the know, this is great because you stay up to date on the progress of projects. It's cool because at the same time you also get to see the impact of projects.

How was the transition from an intern to a full-time engineer?

Olsson does a great job of providing interns with hands-on experience on real world projects.

Everyone I worked with was very eager to help and answer my questions. I really fell in love with the team and that’s why I interned another summer and then became full time.

I got to help kickstart a project as an intern and now it’s at the construction phase. It’s really neat starting a project as an intern and still working on it full-time. Now, I get to work on more projects, meet more people, and keep learning every day.

What advice do you have for aspiring engineers?

An internship is so beneficial. You get to apply classroom concepts to the real-world and feel more prepared for your career.

Some people I went to school with didn’t apply to internships because they felt like they weren’t qualified. It’s scary, but take the leap. There are people at Olsson, or wherever you intern, that will help you build every building block that you need to succeed.  

Rhianna Adkins
Assistant Engineer
No items found.