A Structural Engineering Services Co-Op Student Shares Her Point of View
Undergraduate and graduate students are regular staff additions at Alden. Whether they come to us as part of semester long co-ops or as summer interns, we work to give students the opportunity to tie classroom experiences to a real world setting. Students are often given a variety of engineering and technical tasks to complete, or they may even complete a small research project. Above all else, we want students to learn something valuable and meaningful in their areas of interest.
One of our 2020 interns started with us in 2019 as a co-op student from Ohio State University. Meredith Shaw, a civil engineering student returned this summer to intern for our Structural Engineering Services group located in our Denver, Colorado office. We're happy to have Meredith back and thank her for taking the time to share her thoughts about her co-op with us.
Tell us about your co-op with Alden?
I first had the incredible opportunity to co-op with the Structural Engineering Services group in Alden's Denver, Colorado office. This was a great learning experience for me because I gained insight into both the technical and professional side of engineering. I have always had an interest in Water Resources Engineering, and my co-op was a good stepping stone to help me to see if this was something I want to do as a career. I was with Alden for 7 months which gave me the chance to be immersed into projects and be a part of them from start to finish. [Examples of one of the projects are shown below.]
As a result of my co-op with Alden, I have vastly improved my technical skills.
Meredith Shaw, Alden Intern
I decided to come back for a summer internship because, aside from the fact that I learned a ton, the lead structural engineer for the Structural Engineering Services group is a great teacher. He is very easy to learn from and always willing to answer my questions to make sure I fully understand projects and can be a productive member of the team.
What have you learned while working at Alden?
As a result of both my co-op and internship with Alden, I have vastly improved my technical skills. I have had the opportunity to use design software such as STAAD and AutoCAD, which is great transferable knowledge for any company I work for. I worked closely with our CAD designer to fully understand the drawing process. I also improved my technical writing through proposals, technical memorandums, specifications, and submittal responses.
Example Drawing Work: GATE ISOLATION SYSTEM
During my co-op, I also had the privilege of traveling to Oregon to conduct a site visit for two projects I was working on. This was a great learning experience because I was able to interact with clients and get a feel for what is expected on a site visit.
Gate Isolation System: During Construction
Gate Isolation System: Finished Construction
Aside from the engineering part of my day, I have formed relationships with both individuals within Alden and at companies we collaborated with that I have no doubt will be useful for job recommendations or lead to future career opportunities.
What would you tell other students who may be considering a co-op or internship with Alden?
My co-op and internship with Alden provided me with a lot of opportunities to experience all the aspects of a consulting firm and helped me to confirm I am on the right path for what I want to do when I graduate. Overall I highly recommend a co-op internship with Alden because the employees at this company work to make sure you have a well-rounded experience. I am excited to see how I can apply the skills learned with future employers and in professional environments.
Are you interested in joining the Alden team—either as an intern or as a full-time employee? Visit our Careers page to learn more.
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