Choice Internship Program: My Experience
I was given the opportunity to begin a paid, part-time internship with Choice Engineering Consultants during the Fall of 2019. Since then, I have been impressed by the continued excellence of the Choice Team, the working environment, and the entire company. I began my internship with basic knowledge on the field of transportation engineering mainly from what is learned at the university; however, throughout my time at Choice, I have been privileged to be part of several assignments that have provided opportunities to learn.
When looking for internship opportunities, my biggest reservation was the possibility of being delegated mindless tasks which, while necessary, offered little in the way of professional development. Such circumstances seemed commonplace according to instructors and fellow students who were already active in the industry. I was honest about this reservation along the interview process and was pleasantly surprised to be informed that Choice had as much of an interest in my professional development as I did, and that I would have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects to allow me to learn about the transportation industry. Not only did they follow through on that statement, they have done so excellently.
In my time at Choice, I have assisted in many different efforts, each providing their own unique lessons both in the specific field of engineering and in working as a team with engineers and other interns. Some of the tasks include writing reports, creating spreadsheets, collecting and analyzing data, research, documentation, field work and CADD work, among a variety of others. The exposure to a wide range of the transportation engineering field was extremely valuable to me.
The evidence of the commitment to professional development at Choice Engineering goes beyond just providing a wide variety of work. The level of engagement from supervising engineers in passing down knowledge is excellent. With every new task, I am provided with knowledge of the context of a project and the purpose of that task within it, well beyond the bare minimum necessary to complete it. This allowed me as an intern to exercise some creativity where possible to create a better final product, and to actively look for and correct oversights which might have gone by unnoticed had I only been given a rigid set of instructions. Additionally, I was given the chance to participate in relevant in-office trainings, presentations, and meetings alongside other full-time engineers, extending the knowledge imparted by senior engineers and presenters to the interns as well.
The Engineering Internship Program devised by Choice Engineering has as a stated purpose to be “…of diversity that would strive to develop engineering students in the Transportation Engineering field. “. Having had the pleasure to participate of the program, I can say with certainty that this purpose has been achieved, and expertly so!
It has been a privilege to work as an intern with a team with such diverse and deep knowledge, and it continues to be so now as a full-time employee.
Henrique F. Vasques