To celebrate National Internship Day, we met with three remarkable students currently participating in our comprehensive internship program – the ETM Accelerator. From skill development to personal growth, these students offered a glimpse into the enriching experiences and unique Accelerator journey this program provides.
As an ETM Intern, what does your day-to-day look like?
Taylor Rupe: I am working on multiple projects in all parts of the life cycle. Anything from making an initial site design to tweaking final engineering. It has greatly helped me to understand the bigger picture of a project and its impact on surrounding communities.
Eddie Erickson: The typical day starts with speaking with my mentor to figure out the action plan for the day. I then begin to work on the projects I am assigned and the people around me always make themselves available to assist me should I have any questions. I usually eat lunch around midday, mostly packed lunches, but going out to lunch on Friday with other employees is always a highlight of the week! After lunch, I return to working on the projects assigned. Recently I have been sitting in on a few meetings, both internal and with clients, which have been very beneficial to understanding everything that goes into a project outside of just engineering.
Magnus Schmidt: My day-to-day involves assisting the engineers and CAD technicians in completing real-world projects. I attend meetings on the projects I am assigned to, fix redlines, and help solve any problems the team comes across. My day also involves trying to talk to somebody new so that I can better complete my job.
What part of the Accelerator Program do you feel has been the most beneficial?
Taylor Rupe: No matter how busy anyone is (and everyone is always busy) they will stop to answer questions. Curiosity and a lack of understanding are never scrutinized. Everyone is so patient and willing to help, in my team or otherwise.
Eddie Erickson: Without a doubt, the most beneficial part of the Accelerator Program has been getting firsthand experience working on projects. Being able to help work on projects has allowed me to connect what I have been learning in the classroom to real-world scenarios. My CAD skills have drastically increased, but more importantly, my overall knowledge and understanding of what a civil engineer does has increased.
Magnus Schmidt :The ETM Accelerator Program pairs every intern with a mentor to introduce them to the team environment and civil engineering processes. The program allows interns the opportunity to make practical use of classroom concepts and gain further understanding of those concepts. The program is also flexible around students’ schedules so that they can gain experience in a professional work environment while maintaining their grades.
What would you tell others who are interested in interning with the Accelerator Program?
Taylor Rupe: I would absolutely recommend this program! It has been such a rewarding experience working in a professional, hands-on learning environment. The constant encouragement and challenges from my mentor and team have helped me to grow and elaborate on my skills, personally and professionally, applying my classes to real-world scenarios and projects of all sizes.
Eddie Erickson: I would tell others interested in the Accelerator Program that it has benefited my growth as a civil engineer. The Accelerator Program is truly geared toward the intern by allowing them to work on meaningful projects and by offering opportunities to explore all the civil engineering departments ETM has to offer.
Getting hands-on experience with projects has taught me so much about the field, along with helping me build connections with team members who are always happy to help. It is also interesting to learn about previous projects ETM has worked on and to see the completed version in real-life! Working on projects, making connections, and seeing completed projects have made me excited to start my professional career!
Magnus Schmidt: I would encourage every student to apply to the Accelerator Program. ETM’s Accelerator Program is a fantastic opportunity for any student who is looking to gain knowledge about and experience in the civil engineering field. The program has provided me with real world engineering experience, connections with industry professionals, and further opportunities in the civil engineering field. ETM has one of the best cultures in any workplace that I know of. The people at ETM want to get to know you, and they want to help you succeed. ETM’s Accelerator Program has jump started my professional career and has put me onto a path of greater success.
About the Interviewees
Taylor Rupe is a Civil Engineering student at the University of Florida, with an expected graduation date of Spring 2025. She found out about the ETM Accelerator at the UF ESSIE Evening with the Industry event. Taylor has been a member of the ETM Accelerator Program since May 2023.
Eddie Erickson is a Civil Engineering student at Florida State University, with an expected graduation date of Spring 2024. He learned about the Accelerator Program through ZipRecruiter but was further influenced by a neighbor who works in Contracting. He mentioned that ETM was “one of the best companies he works with!” Eddie has been a member of the ETM Accelerator Program since May 2023.
Magnus Schmidt is a senior at Creekside High School and is part of their Engineering Academy. He joined ETM in June 2023 after hearing about the Accelerator program through ETM’s mentorship program with his high school.
About the ETM Accelerator
The ETM Accelerator Program accelerates the education and career of students by immersing them in the day-to-day tasks and routines of a civil engineering, planning, landscape architecture, geospatial technologies, and surveying firm. Students gain hands-on experience while working directly with industry professionals on real-world projects.
Currently, the ETM Accelerator has 22 active interns from various universities and high schools around the Southeast.