Mathematics and Statistics
College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Class of 2013
NH Department of Transportation Intern, Summer 2011
What would you tell your peers they need to do to find and secure a great internship?
Start looking, researching, and applying early in your college career and early in each year of college. A lot of internship applications go up and end during just the Fall Semester. Use all available resources, most notably the University Advising and Career Center staff and any personal networks you have. The Career Center staff can also help you avoid some of the common pitfalls when developing your resume and preparing for interviews.
What did you learn from your internship search that you will apply in future job searches?
Conduct a few informational interviews - they are amazing! Though it is not an interview for an actual internship or job, it gets your foot in the door and introduces you to a prospective employer. It also allows you to gain more information about the field and company so you can decide if it is the kind of place where you want to work.
What skills are you using and/or learning at your internship that you can use in other internships and entry-level jobs?
The most important skill that I learned at NHDOT is how to work with other people during a process or project. At school, a lot of the work that students do is independent and the few group projects that happen are very different than the group projects I have had at my internship. I also used my organizational and statistical skills a great deal. My internship has been a lot of independent work with checkpoints where I meet with my supervisors to go over what I have done, so I had to stay organized with all of my paperwork and projects, and stay on top of meetings and checkpoints. In regard to my statistical skills, I analyzed employee and survey data. I also relied on my computer skills, specifically Excel and Word, to do most of my analysis and other unique/creative projects. I had to learn new programs to use such as an online survey tool called Zoomerang and a PowerPoint add-on tool called Turning Point. Overall, I have practiced and improved these transferable skills at my internship and I will definitely use them at future internships and jobs.
What is one highlight from your internship experience?
One of the major projects I worked on at NHDOT was the Department's Balanced Scorecard. A balanced scorecard is a strategic performance management tool; a semi-standard structured report, supported by proven design methods and automation tools, that can be used by managers to keep track of the execution of activities by the staff within their control and to monitor the consequences arising from these actions. This was my main project during the Summer. I was involved in organizing the meetings with my supervisors, managing the Balanced Scorecard global folder, and assisting team members in their analyses. However, my main assignments for the Balanced Scorecard were creating, managing, and analyzing a partner survey. I created a thirty question survey using the Federal Highway Administration's partner survey as a basis. I learned how to use the online survey tool called Zoomerang and created the final version of the survey in Zoomerang for distribution. With the help of my supervisors, we organized a meeting for the partner organizations and asked for their endorsement of the survey. Once the survey was endorsed, we sent out a letter to all of NHDOT's partners asking them to complete it. Around the end of September, we are closing the survey and I am going to analyze the data for the Balanced Scorecard.
What is the most valuable part of your internship experience?
The most valuable part of my internship was getting first hand experience working and interacting in a professional environment. I learned about the different processes that happen when completing a project at NHDOT compared to completing a project in school. Also, I attended many meetings with high level supervisors and the commissioner at NHDOT, and had to prepare for these meetings and give presentations at many of them in front of a diverse group of professionals. When I return to school this Fall, I am going to use the knowledge and experiences I gained from working at NHDOT in my classes and future jobs.
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