Intern stories: view from the 11th Street Bridge project

Stepping outside the classroom and onto a busy construction site can be a daunting and exhilarating experience. For our final intern profile, we find out what a civil engineering student from the University of Virginia learned when she left Charlottesville for the bustle of our 11th Street Bridge project in Washington, D.C.


Serena Zahrah, USA Civil – Washington, D.C. (rising senior studying civil engineering at the University of Virginia)

What was the most beneficial aspect of your Skanska internship? That would be the people I had the opportunity to work with this summer and the hands-on experience I received from working on the 11th Street Bridge project every day. I was able to work with all the different departments on site so that I learned about each position and figured out which areas I enjoyed the most. The experience of watching a bridge being constructed right before my eyes prompted me to ask questions that I would have never thought of in a classroom, and allowed me to visualize aspects that I had trouble picturing just by looking at a set of plans.

How do you view the construction industry after seeing it firsthand this summer? Did your experience change your thinking in any way? After this experience, I wouldn’t necessarily say it changed my way of thinking because I never really knew about the industry before. I have learned that the project site changes much faster than the public perceives. Also, the site is much more intricate than I imagined. Working with multiple subcontractors, the owner, inspectors and designers makes organizing and managing a construction site a complex process. Overall, I have found the field of construction to be very exciting and interesting.

What are your future career plans? My future goals include obtaining a master’s degree in civil engineering, as well as becoming a licensed professional engineer. I am still open to possibilities regarding my future career, but after this summer the field of construction has definitely become an appealing option.

serena3Serena on the jobsite in DC.

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • satish March 4, 2014, 5:48 am

    great and very informative information……


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