Today we celebrate National Intern Day, a holiday created by WayUp in 2017 that is focused on recognizing interns and setting up these talented future leaders for success.
It has been an especially challenging year for graduating students and interns trying to take their first steps into professional careers. The COVID-19 pandemic has cancelled many graduation ceremonies, postponed hiring new talent, and pushed everything—from the job hunt to the job itself—to be more virtual than ever before. But internships have not stopped at Murraysmith + Quincy—in fact, we just welcomed six interns to our team!
We’re more dedicated than ever to mentoring the next generation of industry professionals. And we think internships are your best-value approach to long-term career success—here’s why!
Since 2014, Murraysmith + Quincy has been involved with the CECOP (Civil Engineering) and MECOP (Multiple Engineering) Cooperative Programs. These programs are offered through local universities and connect students with both public agencies and private companies for two semesters of paid, full-time internships across industries, including manufacturing, electronics, construction, and civil infrastructure. Companies know that the CECOP/MECOP interns will be of the highest caliber, and students get diverse experience, helping them enter the workforce with an idea of the work they want to do. Best of all? Many companies view having CECOP/MECOP internships on a candidate’s resume as a huge plus.
Whether through CECOP/MECOP or another program, internships are the perfect entry into an industry, where students can dip their toes in different disciplines and companies and apply what they’re learning in school to solve real-world problems.
Our interns are paired with senior-level mentors and experienced technical staff who provide guidance throughout their internship. Mentors tailor the internship for each person, being thoughtful to give them the kinds of work they want to do, while also pushing them to try new things, so they come out of the internship with valuable experience.
Photo: Former intern, Carly Loving, crawling through the inside of the 12th Ave bridge over I-405 during her Murraysmith + Quincy internship.
For my first internship, I worked at ODOT. I thought I wanted to do transportation engineering. But then [for my second internship] I was put on the wastewater team at Murraysmith + Quincy. Eddie Kreipe and Adam Crafts were my mentors, and it was such a good internship, I grew to love wastewater engineering and decided that was what I wanted to do long term.”
– Catherine Soto, engineering designer hired on after her internship.
Internships aren’t just a good experience for the interns—mentors get to work with students who are excited to learn and do the work. By flexing their leadership skills, mentors can grow their own careers.
Brett Karnes, now a senior transportation engineer in our Salem, Oregon, office, is one of our many team members who came out of CECOP/MECOP. He attests that his internship helped him build the foundation of his career, which he now leverages as a mentor. And mentoring is helping him grow in his career today.
It’s true that when you have to teach something, you become much better at it. You become a better engineer when you teach the next generation of engineers.”
– Brett Karnes
Long-term Career Success
The consensus is clear. Internships are your best-value approach to starting your career. You get to make networking connections, explore different industries as well as various types of engineering environments, build a community of peers, and simply learn what it’s like to work in a professional environment.
When we’re looking for interns, we do our best to pick people who truly fit our team and have a passion for supporting the communities we live in. So, once we see the amazing work our interns do, it’s hard for us to say goodbye… which is why we’ve hired six of our interns on long term!
To us, the interns we hire are investments in the future of the firm. It’s not just an opportunity to give a student some exposure. We target people we think would be great long-term hires who will grow the company. To do that, we put energy into tailoring their experience as interns and building lasting relationships.”
– Brett Karnes