Staff Spotlight: Hear about our Intern Program from our Current Interns!
Ariel Lopez, EIT, and David Nguyen were in last year’s internship program and decided to stick around afterward. Hear about their experiences at Civiltec below:
What did you do before joining Civiltec? (Work/School)
Ariel: Before joining Civiltec I was a full-time student and I worked part-time at a movie theater near my house.
David: Prior to working at Civiltec I was a full-time student at Cal Poly Pomona.
What made you decide to pursue engineering? (Is there a particular specialty that you lean more towards? Water, wastewater, drainage, transportation, etc.)
Ariel: I decided to pursue engineering based on the career tests I took in high school, but I stayed in engineering because it was actually interesting and there were so many specialties within civil engineering. I like working more with water because I feel like I can understand it better than some of the other specialties.
David: I pursued civil engineering because I had taken a computer-aided drafting class in high school and enjoyed using AutoCAD and other software. From there, I did some research and landed on civil engineering, and have been interested in water and land development-related topics and work.
What was looking for an internship like in your experience?
Ariel: Looking for an internship was competitive. A lot of the internships I had interviewed for were sent out from professors at my school and a bunch of students were competing for one position, but going through multiple interviews was a good learning experience.
David: Searching for an internship was more difficult than I had imagined due to the competitive atmosphere of it all. Most internship opportunities were very selective; however, I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity here at Civiltec.
When you found Civiltec and completed your Summer Program what made you decide to stay with us?
Ariel: I decided to stay after summer because I knew there was still so much more I could learn and work on. My school is nearby, to both offices, so I could keep up with both school and work. Civiltec was also nice enough to allow me to stay part-time during the school year.
David: After completing my summer program at Civiltec, I really enjoyed learning from the staff at the Monrovia office. They had a lot to offer, and I appreciated them evolving their program to prioritize the interns and make the most of their time during the program. I decided to stay for the same reasons and gain even more industry experience.
What do you enjoy about your day-to-day work?
Ariel: I enjoy learning something new every time I work on a different project and new things are always coming in.
David: I enjoy getting to work with different individuals throughout the office, working on different projects that help me learn more than I could have.
What has been one highlight of your internship? (A favorite project or day?)
Ariel: One highlight has been going out to site visits and seeing the actual construction as opposed to just the plans on paper. Over the summer we saw a pipe bursting and it was really interesting. It was also the first time I met the other interns and some people in the other California office.
David: One of the highlights of my time here at Civiltec so far has to be the site visits that I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of. Being in the office is helpful in learning the engineering process, however, seeing it being constructed and built allows the things I learned to materialize.
What is the number one thing you would recommend to those searching for internships?
Ariel: I would recommend that you have multiple people look at your resume to let them critique it, and include your LinkedIn on your resume.
David: For those searching for internships, I would recommend networking and getting familiar with people already within the industry. These connections can prove very valuable when it comes time to search for an internship.
What advice have you gotten while here that has strengthened your professional development?
Ariel: The best advice that I have gotten, and it has helped me in work and school is always to communicate and ask questions. This advice seems so simple and obvious, but it is easy to not ask, thinking you’re doing something correctly, and it turns out to be wrong. If you ask questions, you’ll probably get it right the first time.
David: The most common and important advice I have received here is to learn as much as you can while you can. No matter what position you hold, you should always be asking questions and learning more than you have. As an intern it’s difficult to swallow your pride and listen, but it is definitely how you learn and become an important part of a working team.