What My Internship Taught Me

August 29, 2018

Internships provide a great way for high school and college students to get a taste of the work world and see what they like and don’t like. Many colleges and universities require students to do at least one internship for a full semester in their field of study. More than 30 interns expanded their knowledge and learned what’s important in excelling their careers. 

We asked our interns: Why SEH? And, asked each of them to describe their experience. Here’s what they had to say… verbatim.

Vincent Christensen | Delafield, Wisconsin office

University of Wisconsin-Platteville | Junior | Major: Environmental engineering

Why SEH?
Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. is a reputable company with decades of experience in the field of engineering. I knew that interning at a company like SEH would allow me to learn from respected experts who would teach me the right way to do things and who would help me to learn and grow as a young aspiring engineer.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
This summer at SEH has been a fantastic experience for myself. I've gotten plenty of field experience that will be very useful in my future career. Additionally, I was able to help with some office work that gave me an insight into the planning stages of these projects.

Nathan Gjersvik | Des Moines, Iowa office

University of Iowa | Junior | Major: Civil engineering

Why SEH?
I chose SEH because I wanted to experience a different side of the civil world. I interned last summer for the Marion County Engineer, and worked a lot with rural road design and construction, so I hadn't seen any wastewater or urban transportation engineering. The Des Moines SEH office often deals with wastewater and highway design, and my father is the Office Manager here, so that made it even more appealing.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
This summer has been a total learning experience for me. I learned new things about wastewater from the start and haven't stopped learning. Fasil Yitbarek is a Project Manager in the Des Moines office and took a lot of time to work with me and help me understand wastewater engineering. He never turned down a chance to help me learn. The office atmosphere is great, especially because it is such a small office. I got to know the other Des Moines office staff very well, and they also helped me learn a ton of new things. It has been an overall great experience here at SEH.

Nathan Gjersvik
I learned new things about wastewater from the start and haven't stopped learning.
Nathan Gjersvik

Brent Golobich | St. Paul, Minnesota office

Winona State University | Graduated | Major: Human Resources Management and Business Administration

Why SEH?
SEH had an opening for an HR intern, and after interviewing it seemed like a very nice place to begin my career / gain professional experience.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
I've had a great time here so far. I started in the beginning of April and the months have flown by.

Ethan Hammen | Appleton, Wisconsin office

University of Wisconsin-Madison | Senior | Major: Civil and environmental engineering

Why SEH?
I chose to intern at SEH because I thought it would give me a different perspective of engineering work. I had a little bit of experience with the public sector and that side of engineering at school, but I wanted to see what consulting was like. This was important to me because I like a diverse work experience, not repetitive or similar work. It also allowed me to work close to my hometown which was important to me.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
My experiences have been very interesting and allowed me to look at the whole spectrum of consulting. I attended public meetings and learned about business development, designing and editing projects, as well as getting some on-site construction management experience. All of these opportunities helped me have a better idea of what I have to look forward to in the future.

William Henning | St. Paul, Minnesota office

University of Wisconsin-Platteville | Senior | Major: Environmental engineering

Why SEH?
SEH has a strong reputation as one of the top consulting firms in the Midwest. I am interested in solid waste/environmental remediation and was given the opportunity to be an intern with the environmental engineers and scientists group in St. Paul. I have learned a lot and excited for my future classes (to go deeper in to the topics I am interested in) and career!

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
I've had a very good experience. I've applied the knowledge learned in the classroom to the "real world." I also gained a lot of insight into consulting and what my future career could look like. I really appreciate the patience that HR gave to me when they initially reached out to me. My response to their initial email was a few days late (~5 days). I am very grateful that they were patient enough to wait for my response and not reach out to another candidate. Thank you HR!

William Henning
I have learned a lot and excited for my future classes (to go deeper in to the topics I am interested in) and career!
William Henning

Matthew Henderson | Hutchinson, Minnesota office

University of Minnesota Duluth | Junior | Major: Civil engineering

Why SEH?
As a returning intern, my role with SEH has expanded dramatically. Last year SEH patiently provided me with a broad education in municipal engineering while also finding ways for me to engage in meaningful work. In my second year, SEH has continued to grow my responsibilities while teaching me many things that cannot be covered in a classroom. It is crazy to look back at the beginning of my first internship and realize how little I knew about what it takes to carry out a civil engineering project. Even now as end my second internship, it is amazing to reflect on how much I have grown as a student. I have gone from never being on a municipal construction site in my life to now being one of the primary on site inspectors for multi-million dollar projects. Returning to SEH has provided me insight into what I want to pursue after school and given me invaluable knowledge that will help me in the future.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
I would like to thank SEH for giving me the opportunity to come back for a second year. The respect and responsibility they have given me has made me feel like I am part of the SEH family. I am so thankful that they provided me with work I can take pride in and helped me feel like I am a valuable member of the company. It has been an enlightening summer and I hope to continue my relationship with SEH in the future.

Kaitlin Hennen | St. Cloud, Minnesota office

North Dakota State University | Junior | Major: Civil engineering

Why SEH?
In high school when I was considering what I wanted to go to college for I shadowed a few engineers from the Vadnais Heights office. What they had told me about SEH and the projects they work on got me interested in pursuing civil engineering. I was interested in interning at SEH due to my prior experience and interaction and so I looked into what kind of internship opportunities were being offered at different locations.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
I have learned so much this summer and have been given many opportunities to work on all sorts of projects from design to inspecting to surveying and seeing how things come together between the office and the field. I have loved working here, everyone was very welcoming and everything I have had the chance to work on genuinely sparked my interest and curiosity to learn more. I am sad to be leaving after such a great and exciting summer, but look forward to applying what I've learned in my school work.

Sam Hovde | Rice Lake, Wisconsin office

University of Wisconsin-Platteville | Senior | Major: Civil engineering with a structural emphasis

Why SEH?
I chose SEH because during high school I had job shadowed for a few weeks with the engineers at SEH in Rice Lake. I learned a lot during the job shadow and really liked the people that worked at SEH, so I kept in touch with one of the engineers to see if they had any openings and ended up being brought on board as an intern in 2017.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
Working with SEH has been great! I have done mostly resident project representative (RPR) work on transportation projects, which has really helped me get a better feel on how things are constructed. This experience will be greatly appreciated when I began designing and need to worry about the constructability of my projects. Although I have mostly worked on transportation projects, my true interest is in structural projects. SEH has been awesome about letting me explore this interest by letting me visit both building and bridge projects during my time here.

Sam Hovde
SEH has been awesome about letting me explore this interest by letting me visit both building and bridge projects during my time here.
Sam Hovde

Sam Mickelson | Delafield, Wisconsin office

University of Wisconsin-Madison | Freshman | Major: Civil engineering

Why SEH?
As a returning intern, I have had the chance to work on a much greater range of projects doing different types of work. Last summer I worked as a survey intern assisting the surveying department in the field and in the office. This summer I have done some work with survey crew, but the majority of my time has been spent helping the civil engineers in the field. 

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
I spent a lot of time on inspection for a variety of projects, which included, but not limited to: erosion control inspection on numerous sites; dry weather inspections for local municipalities and paving inspections for municipalities paving programs; and construction inspections on active developments. I also spent time in the field doing as-builts such as measure downs, determining elevations and post construction measurements. The time I have spent in the field has been, and will continue to be, an extremely valuable experience. I have learned so much in my two summers as an intern at SEH and have enjoyed the work. The knowledge I have gained through the experience will benefit me as I continue my career through college and into the workforce.

Nicholas Peterson | Brainerd, Minnesota office

North Dakota State University | Junior | Major: Civil engineering

Why SEH?
The position offered to me at SEH seemed like a good way to get some new and different experiences in various aspects of civil engineering.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
My experience at SEH has taught me as much as nine credits worth of classes, while getting paid instead of making payments. I would love to work here again!

Kaylee Simon | Madison, Wisconsin office

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee | Senior | Major: Civil engineering

Why SEH?
I chose to apply at SEH because I wanted to work on transportation and structural projects. I knew of SEH's great reputation with clients and wanted to be a part of it.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
I love that SEH allowed me to learn and work on a variety of projects. I was able to work on a field project from start to finish where I learned how a project is lead. I also worked in the office on a variety of projects, and got exposure to grants. I'm glad to help wherever I can, and all of the exposure I got has helped build experience towards my future professional life.

Kaylee Simon
I love that SEH has allowed me to learn and work on a variety of projects.
Kaylee Simon

Nicole Schrader | St. Paul, Minnesota office

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology | Junior | Major: Chemical engineering

Why SEH?
They gave me the opportunity to see how the field work operates along with the office part.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
It's been a great experience working with amazing people.

Oliver Shakal | Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin office

McDonell Central Catholic High School | Senior | Major: I hope to pursue a mechanical engineering degree at either Michigan Technological University or Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Why SEH?
I chose to intern at SEH because it would give me an opportunity to experience real-life engineering work before graduating from high school. I knew that it would also be an excellent place to network and meet engineers working in their field of expertise.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
Working at SEH has been fantastic the last couple of months. I met some awesome co-workers that helped me along because I don't nearly have as much background or knowledge as they do; as I have yet to go to college and my high school doesn't have many engineering classes. They were extremely helpful if I ever had a question, even if it is a very simple one.

Caleb Weber | St. Paul, Minnesota office

University of Wisconsin–Platteville | Senior | Major: Civil engineering with a structural emphasis

Why SEH?
Besides having an open position that interested me, I saw SEH as a company with an honest and people-orientated culture. Looking beyond graduation for long-term career opportunities, I want to work for an employer that values people and communities, and SEH has those qualities. I also valued the amount of office locations SEH has in the Midwest, potentially keeping doors open for the future.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
My experience this summer has been truly gratifying and worthwhile. I have been able to learn about theoretical and technical aspects of engineering, business aspects of consulting, and professional aspects of project delivery. Most importantly, I felt valued as an aspiring engineer because of the intentionality my coworkers had in giving me tasks and valued as an employee because of the flexibility I was given to balance work and life. Only working three months over the summer is a short time to develop an effective work rhythm, so early on there was more fluctuation in work load. Once that rhythm was established, work became more consistent and enjoyable.

Caleb Weber
I felt valued as an aspiring engineer because of the intentionality my coworkers had in giving me tasks and valued as an employee because of the flexibility I was given to balance work and life.”
Caleb Weber

Darren Tenold | Mankato, Minnesota office

South Central College, North Mankato | Senior | Major: Civil engineer technologies

Why SEH?
I wanted field work experience and SEH does a lot for my community and my surrounding area and I wanted to be a part of that.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
I have learned a lot more than I thought I would. I was involved in projects from beginning to end and felt like a part of the team the whole time, not just like a seasonal intern. I have been treated with respect and learned valuable lessons about public interactions as well as working in an office setting.

Anything else you would like to share?
SEH really gave me the room to grow as a member of this community of municipal engineers. I had many hours of close mentoring as well as hours to do what was needed for the community and company by myself.  As an individual representative of SEH, it helped me to gain confidence in what I was doing as well as gain respect for those who do it everyday.

Shaundra Wachter | Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin office

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point | Senior | Major: Water resource major and soil science minor

Why SEH?
I applied at SEH because I wanted to get new experiences and see if I would like working for SEH or a company like SEH after I graduate.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
I learned a lot working at SEH and enjoyed working for SEH. I have a ton of new experiences and liked working with everyone in this company.

Alec Batemen | St. Cloud, Minnesota office

North Dakota State University | Senior | Major: Civil engineering

Why SEH?
I chose SEH because it seemed like a work environment I would enjoy, could contribute to and values the specific needs of its clients

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
I enjoyed and valued my experience and getting to know the many faces in the field and around the St. Cloud office. I learned a lot in the field and office that will greatly impact my future career.

Alec Batemen
I enjoyed and valued my experience at SEH.
Alec Batemen


Jacob Wick | Mason City, Iowa office

Iowa State University | Sophmore | Major: Civil engineering, no emphasis yet

Why SEH?
It was close to home and offered a great opportunity to get involved with project nearby.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
I've loved my time here. I've been able to work on site as a RPR, in the office drawing water maps for small towns, and compile data from previous jobs in the company. Overall, I've been able to immerse myself in more tasks a civil engineer will do than I initially thought I could this summer.

Tim Zahratka | Mankato, Minnesota office

South Central Technical College | Senior | Major: Civil engineering technology and GIS mapping

Why SEH?
Well, I am a 43 year old college student!! I worked for the City Of Montgomery Public Works Dept. for 16 years and met SEH Client Service Manager Chris Cavett. That is what put a spark in my eye.

Omnya Zaman | Munster, Indiana office

Purdue University West Lafayette | Senior | Major: Civil engineering

Why SEH?
The location was very convenient and the work they wanted me to do this summer aligned with what I was looking for.

Describe your interning experience at SEH.
They were very accommodating and provided me with alot of useful experiences! Everyone in the office was very friendly and willing to help whenever I had questions. My job was primarily out in the field so I learned a lot on the job as well as in the office. The Munster office is the best! Everyone made my summer memorable and really helped with anything and everything I needed!

Thank you to all of our interns for their hard work, input, enthusiasm and dedication to help SEH’s vision of Building a Better World for All of Us®. 

Interested in an internship?

Your Recruitment Team is your bridge to a better career. Questions about work or life at SEH? Use the contact form and they’ll be in touch.

Greg Roach

Greg Roach
Talent Acquisition Specialist

Kelley Zwisler

Kelley Zwisler
Talent Acquisition Specialist

Better Projects 101: Practical Tips

Want a better project? Download our free eBook filled with tips on hiring a consultant, stakeholder engagement, project delivery, project management and more.