Take one recent graduate with a background in environmental engineering. Staff her on a major highway reconstruction project. What’s the result? Here’s what one intern learned while working on the Skanska team’s I-275 project in Florida.
Zorana Kojic, USA Civil – Tampa, Fla. (recent graduate with bachelor’s degrees in agricultural and biological engineering from the University of Florida)
What was the most beneficial aspect of your Skanska internship? The most beneficial aspect of my Skanska internship – for which I was based at the I-275 Reconstruction project – was being able to show my skills and demonstrate how I add value to the company. Had I not had this internship experience, I do not think I would have been offered the opportunity to be a field engineer for Skanska due to the fact that I did not come from a traditional civil/construction background. I also found it beneficial because I was also able to test out the company for me. Do I like this environment? Do I like the people I work with? Yes, I do.
How do you view the construction industry after seeing it firsthand this summer? Did your experience change your thinking in any way? Coming from an environmental background, construction was very new to me. However, having had this internship I can see that things are not black and white like I previously thought. It also makes me appreciate construction’s many challenges. Working on a busy highway in the middle of a bustling downtown has many variables, and yet – with all the precautions being taken – the road is being built. It is amazing to see how intricate in detail and large in scope this project is. Most of all, the landscape is constantly changing: it is never the same and I find that very exciting.
What are your future career plans? Having achieved my first engineering job out of school was a great accomplishment for me. I believe I am with the right company (e.g., very similar core values) and doing what I like – environmental engineering – in the manner that keeps me going (e.g., lots of field time). I can’t wait to see where that will take me in the future. I would love to be part of the Skanska Unlimited program in the future and be part of Skanska’s international projects.
Zorana performs a turbidity analysis by the Hillsborough River.