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ODOT Internships

Learn and work with experienced professionals

Develop new skills

Apply your knowledge beyond the classroom

Enhance your credibility

Set yourself apart from the rest


InternshipsExciting PAID internships are available at the Ohio Department of Transportation in fields such as CADD, engineering, finance, highway management, human resources, information technology, law, planning, and public relations.

ODOT offers competitive pay based on academic status, with incremental rates available for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate-level students.

 

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Spotlight on Interns

At ODOT, we believe the role of interns in the workplace is part education, part paid work, part great experience. Our interns gain valuable skills to prepare them for professions in their chosen field. An internship at ODOT is an opportunity to experience the world of work in a meaningful way while getting paid. It is the bridge between part-time work to help pay the bills and real-work experience that gets you to the next level -- that first job after college.

Interested? Hope so, but if you need more than promises, read about the real-world experiences of ODOT's interns by clicking the drop-down menus below. If they sound like testimonials ... well ... that's because they are.

Communications

Alyssa Litzinger

LitzingerAlyssa Litzinger, was a senior at Columbus State Community College studying Digital Design before she was hired as an Electronic Design Specialist in the Division of Communications.  Here is her story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

I have b​een given a lot of valuable work during my time at ODOT. Everyone in the Communications office has been very helpful and eager to help make my intern experience as best as possible. The "real life" experience is invaluable and I couldn't have asked to learn from a more friendly and fun group.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

I was surprised how many projects are done in house. This has been very beneficial for me because I've been able to see how a little bit of everything works in the Communications office, including small and large format printing, photo and video editing and marketing and communication strategies.

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

Staying organized while taking classes has set me up for success in the workplace. I've been able to use my organizational skills to meet short and long term deadlines on ODOT projects.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

My ODOT experience has helped me to take my basic knowledge of digital design to the next level. I have been given a wide range of tasks that have enhanced my skill set.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, exercising and traveling.

Erin Fryz

FryzErin Fryz interned with the Ohio Department of Transportation, District 12, in Cleveland from May 2016 to 2017, while a senior at Kent State University earning a degree in Digital Media Production. Here is her story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

During my internship at District 12, I learned valuable skills that I still utilize on a daily basis. My supervisor Amanda McFarland taught me how to plan and prioritize projects, communicating both verbally and visually and the importance of teamwork. She was open and honest throughout my time there. She wasn't afraid to tell me if I was heading in the wrong or right direction with a project and for that, I'm genuinely grateful. On a day-to-day basis, I developed my writing, graphic design, video, customer service and social media skills. My peers at District 12 showed me what hard work and determination could lead to successful groundbreaking projects (no pun intended). My internship is over, but I'm able to look to my previous supervisor as a mentor that I can reach out to in my professional career. 

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

Every day, I am surprised to learn about all the different areas ODOT has to offer. Whether it's learning about environmental site assessments or learning that roads have a pavement condition rating (PCR), each day brings curiosity and something new to learn. I'm fortunate to be a part of such an exciting field.

How have your education experiences helped you here at ODOT?

I believe my educational experience has helped me throughout my internship at District 12. I was able to incorporate my video background to communicate different projects or safety tips ODOT had to offer.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

My experiences at ODOT aided and improved my educational background. I was able to take the skill set I acquired while working at ODOT and incorporate it into my schoolwork.
  
What are your goals after graduation?

My goals are to push myself in the workplace. How can I raise the bar in the next project I take on? Where can I make improvements in my work ethic? Even though I set goals for myself, I also want to surround myself with other professionals that I can be inspired by and learn from their experience in the field.

Editor's Note: Erin Fryz is a full-time employee at ODOT as the Digital Media Manager and Co-host of The Loop, a web show highlighting weekly accomplishments and notable stories about ODOT.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching movies, video editing and hanging out with friends. Also, anyone who has ever worked with me knows I'm an unapologetic and passionate Taylor Swift fan.

Makensey Barr

BarrMakensey Barr is a junior at the University of Cincinnati studying Psychology and Organizational Leadership. She has interned with the Ohio Department of Transportation District 3, Office of Public Information, since 2016. This is her story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

While working at ODOT, I have been able to get real world experience in a professional workplace. Working in Public Information, I have gained valuable people and conflict management skills. These skills have now transferred into my daily life, and I will be able to take them to any job after college.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

Transportation does not only mean roadways. ODOT manages all forms of transportation and is a huge driving force of innovation! The future of transportation is more interesting and exciting than I would have ever imagined and it has been awesome to see the things ODOT is doing!

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

In school, I study people and organizations. My education has helped me to understand how leadership, communication and teamwork play a large role in the success of such a large operation.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

In return, ODOT has given me tangible evidence that I can apply to the materials I am learning in the classroom. It has also given me an amazing set of networking connections across the state of Ohio. Although my home district is in Ashland, I was able to transfer to Cincinnati while at school and had the opportunity to learn from more people.

What are your goals after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to attend graduate school to obtain my Master's degree in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology. I would love to have a job working in Leadership Consulting, Professional Development or Human Resourcing.

What do you liked to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I enjoy coaching cheerleading at Sycamore High School as well as being involved with Greek Life and leadership councils at school!

Livia Schroeder

SchroederLivia Schroeder is a senior at the University of Cincinnati studying Communication and Public Relations. She has worked for ODOT District 1 in the Public Information Office since May 2018. This is her story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

I have learned many skills while interning for ODOT. ODOT has helped me gain computer skills. Without ODOT I wouldn't know how to use Photoshop, InDesign, or Premier. ODOT has taught me how important is to be able to work as a team.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

A surprising thing that I've learned about ODOT is that Ohio really has no boundaries. Every district helps each other out, and I think that's great.

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

My educational experiences have helped me prepare for a professional work environment. The University of Cincinnati did a great job at developing my writing skills.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

My experiences at ODOT have given me the skills I need to land a job. ODOT gave me firsthand experience at what it is like to work in an office setting. ODOT has taught me more than what I could learn in a classroom.

What are your goals after graduation?

After graduation I plan to stay around the Cincinnati area and achieve a job in Public Relations. Another plan after graduation is to travel more of the world.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I like to spend time with my family and friends. I also enjoy traveling all over.

Environmental

Holly Rundle

Holly Rundle on the job at ODOTHolly Rundle is a post-graduate student at Otterbein University studying Conservation Science and Biology. She interned in the Division of Planning, Office of Environmental Services. Here is her story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

ODOT has provided me foremost with a solid foundation of professional skills that I can use in the workplace when communicating and coordinating work with others. I have also gained valuable field work skills, technical report writing, analytical skills when looking at collected data, and interpretive skills towards environmental policies. I have overall gained confidence in myself and also a new determination to tackle new things and to go out of my comfort zone.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

Before I was an intern at ODOT, I didn’t put much thought into what ODOT did other than knowing they were the culprit of the never-ending rows of orange barrels. However, to discover that they have their own ecological and cultural resources sections was a pleasant surprise. After meeting the variety of professionals that make up ODOT, I realized that even the environmental section is just a small part of the big picture. I’m glad that I am a part of a place who puts effort towards protecting and improving the environment while moving forward with projects for the community.  

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

My general studies have provided me with the background knowledge of the work I am immersed in at ODOT. When I go out into the field it’s great to be able to see in-person what we learn in the books and have the opportunity to apply myself. It has been a great way to show me what I can do with my education once I graduate and what type of job I can strive towards.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

I initially applied for this internship because I wanted to complete research on freshwater mussels, and I knew ODOT would help provide me with the necessary tools and professionals to help me succeed. They have helped me discover a new passion and aided me in developing research skills that I have been able to apply to my studies at school.

What are your goals after graduation?

I continued to intern at ODOT after graduating to gain more experience before going out into the real world. I am now going to be an Environmental Scientist and have plans to go to graduate school in the near future to help me advance into the field that I love!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to stay active; whether that entails going on a run, hiking, hammocking, playing my cello and performing, drawing and graphic design, or going to concerts!

Christian Cervantes

CervantesChristian Cervantes graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Environmental Sciences. He interned in the Division of Planning, Office of Environmental Services. Here is his story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

With regard to the most beneficial learning experiences, first and foremost, is the close working relationship I was able to have with the Office of Environmental Services staff. They were some of the best in their respective fields, and I was able to learn an immense amount working with them. They served as the best mentors I could ask for, taking all my questions, bringing me on all events they could and sharing their knowledge with me. They made it a point to include me on anything they knew was within my capabilities, and they included me on things that pushed my abilities to their max capacity.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

The research component and the freedom I was given as an intern made my internship an important experience for my professional development. To be able to take part in or even initiate a research project with a staff so willing to jump in and help out is not something that is common in all internships. I will forever be thankful for the resources and knowledge the staff provided. With their help, I was able to facilitate and kickoff research projects of various sizes. In my interview for my new position, the employer was very intrigued at my internship experiences facilitating or even initiating research projects.  

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

The networking the Office of Environmental Services provided was something truly remarkable. I met professionals all across the state in various roles, fields and positions. All were eager to discuss and share their knowledge. I was also able to attend meetings and conferences that provided immense growth for my professional development –- even the happy hours were amazing networking events. Within the office itself, I made connections here that helped me grow, not just on a professional level, but also a personal one. I got to work with staff and interns from various educational and personal backgrounds that required us to combine our experiences and respective fields to accomplish tasks. Some of the interns also served as mentors and great teachers themselves, and I tried to return the favor by sharing my knowledge whenever possible. Learning to work with various people of diverse backgrounds was a growing experience that I am extremely grateful for.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

I was able to learn crucial skills that had other employers quite intrigued by my resume. These included things such as the waterway permitting process, mussel survey reports, ESR’s, QHEI’s, and research surveying/data collection. All I had to do was ask and the next thing I knew, I was immersed in a new project or experience that allowed me to expand my skillsets.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, exercising and traveling.

Bruce Aument

AumentBruce Aument interned with ODOT in the summer of 1983 in the Bureau of Enviromental Services. He holds a bachelor's in History from Capital University, a master's from Universidad las Americas Puebla in Mexco and a doctorate from The Ohio State University in Anthropology/Archaeology. Currently, Bruce works for ODOT as an archaeologist in the Division of Planning, Office of Environmental Services. Here is his story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

35 years ago I received practical everyday experiences in field survey techniques, site excavation, and curation procedures; and I got paid to do it! I worked all over the state on a variety of different archaeological sites, met a lot of landowner and amateur collectors, and visited most of the state owned historic and archaeological sites. The ODOT staff taught us how to efficiently and effectively budget, organize and execute projects.  

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

That archaeology done under cultural resource management could be just as competent and beneficial to the discipline and the public as academic archaeology. ODOT's main mission is to provide a world class transportation system for the state. But ODOT also takes the time and makes the effort to preserve archaeologically significant sites, either through avoidance or mitigation.

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

As an intern I came with a lot of book learning that I wanted to put into action. I knew enough to ask the right questions to the ODOT staff when I didn't understand something. I could also suggest ways of doing things differently.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

An archaeologist is a student for life. The goal is to learn something new everyday Truthfully, the majority of ODOT projects are mundane and routine, but there are always some that require additional thought, research, possibly new perspectives and approaches, and collaboration with other specialized archaeologists. Then, in presenting the results to the public I get to meet lots of people interested in Ohio history and archaeology, who provide me with new information they acquired and usually from a different professional perspective.

What are your goals after graduation?

I'm living my goals, working as an ODOT archaeologist and trying to adapt to the changing cultural resource management scene. Technology is the biggest change, but it's only a tool. And you're only as good as your tools. So my latest goal is to master the tools of my trade.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Gardening is one, since I don't get my hands dirty enough at work. Hiking is another, since we don't do as much surface collection as we used to. As for curation, I collect stamps and postcards. They can tell you a lot about the recent past and they are quickly becoming extinct.​

Editor's note: ODOT has been a smoke-free workplace since 1990.

Jessica Quinn

Jessica Quinn, an intern since August 2017 in the Division of Planning/Office of Environmental Services, is a junior at The Ohio State University studying Environmental Science. This is her story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

Of the many skills I have gained from working at ODOT, networking, GIS, and knowledge of state government procedures are among some of the most important. While working at ODOT, I have met many people both inside and outside of ODOT, from various fields of study. This has allowed me to not only broaden my learning experience but also to increase the network of people I have connections with which will hopefully help me in the future. Learning GIS has been important to me because it is a widely used program in my field of study and being able to use it in a professional setting has been beneficial in preparing me for my career. A large portion of my work at ODOT has dealt with compiling and understanding the paperwork associated with mitigation and it has given me a better understanding of how governmental processes work at the state level.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

The most interesting thing I learned about ODOT is that the staff here all have come from very different educational backgrounds. All of the staff members are great at what they specialize in and are so willing to share that knowledge and even help me learn how they got to where they are now. It is incredible the diversity of backgrounds that work at ODOT and all come together to solve problems throughout the state.

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

My educational experiences prepared me a lot for my time here at ODOT. I have several courses that directly relate to projects I am working on or am interested in which helps cement what I am learning in class. Being able to take what I learn in the classroom and apply it in a real world work setting is an amazing experience and has made me more excited about my future studies.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

ODOT has helped me a lot in both my current education as well as figuring out where I want to go in terms of future education and a career. My current education aligns well with what I am doing here at ODOT and is helping me to understand certain processes we deal with daily. I have also had the opportunity to talk to many staff members about their experiences and career paths which has helped me narrow down my potential career paths.

What are your goals after graduation?

My goals after graduation are to go onto graduate school to pursue a master's degree in either Public Health or Toxicology.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I like to travel, spend time with my loved ones, and bake.

Alexis Dzubak

DzubakAlexis Dzubak, an intern in the Division of Planning, Office of Environmental Services, graduated from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, and is currently a graduate student at The Ohio University studying biological anthropology. This is her story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

By working closely with the archaeology and history/architecture staff, I have greatly expanded my knowledge of artifact analysis and processing as well as the relevant policies and laws pertaining to this type of work. Since I hope to work for a governmental agency post-degree, I think that working in an environment where the interaction between the academic knowledge/research and practice is clear will help me navigate this boundary in the future.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

I've found that ODOT is a good model for project collaboration. Collaboration can be very hard to do outside of one's field, and I think that ODOT collaborates quite naturally and seamlessly.

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

My academic background gave me the knowledge to work semi-independently on curation projects, but I definitely needed and welcomed the input from staff members. Some of the artifacts are really hard to identify! Through this process, I have learned so much about the history of Ohio.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

The experience and knowledge that I have gained at ODOT has allowed me the flexibility and stability to work on my degree while providing me with professional, practical experience. 

What are your goals after graduation?

I would like to get a job in my field that pays decently with secure benefits and pay off my student loans within five years of graduation. Besides those necessary things, I would love to visit Machu Picchu, Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Egypt. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Other than working on my dissertation, I enjoy attending Columbus Blue Jackets games and getting outdoors by hiking and camping.

Hayley Feightner

FeightnerHayley Feightner, a graduate student at The Ohio State University studying City and Regional Planning, started as an intern with the Division of Planning, Office of Environmental Services in March 2017. Here is her story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

In my time here at ODOT, I’ve gained a variety of skills that I will carry with me throughout my personal and professional development. Aside from the invaluable knowledge and guidance I’ve gained from my mentors and coworkers, I have been able to receive trainings that have helped me to understand and be directly involved in the processes of our office, in addition to being a great asset to my resume. I have also been able to strengthen my communication skills due to opportunities to collaborate with individuals and groups across offices at ODOT and with other agencies. Working at ODOT has also allowed me to improve and expand my skills in research and report writing.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

The most surprising thing I’ve learned about ODOT is how involved and hands-on they are in all parts of their work. I always joke that I’ve been able to see more parts of Ohio within one year at ODOT than I have in my entire life living here. From helping to excavate prehistoric sites with staff archaeologists to researching and visiting abandoned railroad tunnels, my experience at ODOT has given me a heightened appreciation and understanding of Ohio and its history.

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

In the Cultural Resources section, we do a lot of historical research on properties and sites. Because my undergraduate background is in history, I’ve been able to exercise and expand my research and writing skills and translate that into reports for our office. I have also been able to apply my educational experiences in city and regional planning because our office’s responsibilities fall under the umbrella of the planning process. Working at ODOT has allowed me to get a lot of applicable experience within this scope.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

My experience at ODOT has given me a valuable perspective on the process of completing large-scale infrastructure projects. This has been helpful in my coursework in planning because it has helped me to understand the complexities, challenges, and opportunities that occur in project development on a broader level. It has also given me skills and tools to better understand site analysis and processes where projects involve the use of federal or state funds. This knowledge has been useful in my courses and studio classes where the same skills and tools are used.

What are your goals after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to merge my educational path in planning and history with the skills I’ve gained interning at ODOT. It is my goal to help guide communities in smart development patterns and to open opportunity for all people to thrive. I wish to work in a field that is relevant to planning and community/economic development, and to work on creatively preserving historic places that are of importance to the community.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with friends and family, traveling, reading and playing piano.

Amanda Foley

FoleyAmanda Foley graduated from The Ohio State University with a master's degree in Anthropology/Archaeology and from The College at Brockport, State University of New York with an undergraduate degree in History and Anthropology/Archaeology. She began her internship at ODOT in December 2014. This is her story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

My internship at ODOT introduced me to all the environmental requirements that are needed before public projects can move forward. I enhanced my archaeological fieldwork skills, specifically for the public sector as opposed to academic fieldwork, learned how to perform History/Architecture fieldwork, write reports and letters, hone my curation skills, and coordinate with resource agencies.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

ODOT has experts across all environmental disciplines, and they are needed in order to move transportation projects forward while protecting and enhancing the environment. Since the Office of Environmental Services has so many experts, interns gain valuable experience in the field and in the office.

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

I studied history and anthropology/archaeology for my undergraduate degree, and anthropology/archaeology for my master's, so my academic experiences fit right in with being a Cultural Resources Intern. I had fieldwork, curation, research, and writing experience, prior to starting my internship so I was able to jump right in and alter my previous knowledge to fit ODOT processes.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

ODOT helped with time management during graduate school since you have to balance multiple projects here, and then balance school work versus internship time. Plus, doing more archaeological fieldwork here gave me more experience for academic fieldwork.

What are your graduation goals?

I am now a full time Environmental Specialist in the Office of Environmental Services, and I started just a few months after graduation! Interning at ODOT provided the opportunity for me to become full time here since it allowed for the professional development needed to succeed as an Environmental Specialist.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to exercise and spend time with friends and family, while also having the occasional lazy weekend.

Alex Robinson

RobinsonAlex Robinson is a senior at The Ohio State University studying environmental engineering. He worked as an intern in the Office of Environmental Services from August 2016 to April 2018. This is his story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

One of the most important skills that I gained from my time with the Office of Environmental Services was the ability to assess environmental situations from various perspectives. I gained exposure to many different aspects of environmental regulation, protection, and consideration across a broad range of projects throughout the state of Ohio. I learned how to use the great wealth of human resources that ODOT had to offer, in order to achieve goals I never would have imagined completing alone.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

I was most surprised by the intricacy of the planning process, and the checks and balances in place in order to provide the most well-rounded and beneficial project possible. I learned so much about how interconnected every aspect of a civil service project truly is, and how any change in an engineering design can adversely impact various stakeholders involved. I was surprised by how many well hidden environmental hazards existed in areas that I had never thought to be suspicious.

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

My engineering education helped me to apply critical thinking perspectives to ODOT projects that uncovered often overlooked issues. My education surrounding a broad scope perspective helped me understand the big picture of environmental issues, even when the details were complex or misleading. My education helped me understand the strengths and weaknesses of my capabilities and specialties, and how to use these most efficiently in this diverse work setting.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

My experiences with the Office of Environmental Services helped my education by revealing new interests and curiosities. I was able to gain exposure to many various environmental topics at ODOT that I was then able to pursue in depth through my education at OSU. The staff in the Office of Environmental Services were so knowledgeable and passionate about their specific fields, that they actively sought to inspire interns to discover these passions on their own.

What are your graduation goals?

I plan to pursue an environmental engineering career that promotes an efficient and sustainable society that lives in harmony with the industries that support it. I hope to use my new found understanding of environmental intricacies to build a future that does not suffer from the past.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy playing bass guitar, fishing, and kayaking.

John Steponick

SteponickJohn Steponick graduated from The Ohio State University in 2017 with a degree in Atmospheric Sciences. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Delaware. He worked as an intern for the Office of Environmental Services from May 2016 to April 2017. This is his story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

ODOT was the first internship I ever had, so it was my first "real" experience in the professional world. I gained experience working in an office and in a field setting which developed and introduced me to a wide range of skills. While in the office, I developed my general Microsoft Office skills, especially since much of my time was spent analyzing data through Excel and editing documents on Word, primarily Ohio's Statewide Pollinator Habitat Guidelines. I was also first introduced to mapping software such as ArcGIS at ODOT, and I assisted with many minor projects that required the use of ArcGIS and Google Earth. Out in the field, I assisted with a couple mussel relocations, wildlife camera installations and maintenance, invasive species removals, and bridge inspections, which were all interesting and beneficial in their own way. On top of some of these more technical skills and experiences, I developed essential soft skills that can be applicable to any aspect of life, such as working in a team setting, completing tasks in an efficient and effective manner, etc.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

The most surprising thing I probably learned about ODOT is how flexible work hours can be. As an intern that was taking 18 credit hours at Ohio State most semesters, flexibility when it came to my work schedule was key, and essentially I was able to create my own hours which I believe improved my productivity and effectiveness in the workplace.

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

I think my educational experiences helped me out at ODOT a lot because pursuing and completing a college degree is, plain and simple, a lot of hard work.  The work ethic I developed in my classes I believe transitioned smoothly to working at ODOT.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

As I stated before, working at ODOT was my first real experience in the professional world, and as I started to finish my general education courses and got more into my major courses, we had to do group projects with the same people every week. My experiences at ODOT, primarily working with the same coworkers every day on various projects, allowed me to understand how to collaborate with different personality types on a daily basis. The technical skills I developed also helped tremendously.

What are your graduation goals?

I graduated from Ohio State in December of 2017 with a B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences as well as a minor in Environmental Science. Starting in August 2018, I will begin pursuing my M.S. in Disaster Science & Management at the University of Delaware on a research assistantship. The ultimate goal I have for my future is to get my Ph.D. in Climate Science, and conduct climate and disaster research either within academia, or for NOAA or NASA.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I have played hockey my whole life, so I love playing hockey. Besides that, I like to play other sports such as baseball or basketball; I like to volunteer with refugees and environmental organizations; I like to explore new cities and parks; I like to go camping; and I like to stay up-to-date on politics and current events from around the world.

Rohini Vembar

VembarRohini Vembar is a junior at The Ohio State University studying Environmental Science. They have worked as an intern in the Division of Planning/Office of Environmental Services since November 2017. This is her story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

Though I haven’t been here for long, I have already gained valuable skills that I could never learn in the classroom. I have been able to get out in the field and get firsthand experience while also being able to learn more about what happens in the background. I’m also able to work alongside incredible staff who are experts in their fields. They understand what it was like to be a student who is still trying to figure out where they are going in life and have been incredibly helpful in the search to find what I’m truly passionate about.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

Prior to interning at ODOT, I honestly had no idea that there was an entire office dedicated to ecological and cultural resources, which are some areas that I feel most people’s minds don’t fall on when they think about ODOT. It does make sense now, though, as Ohio’s transportation system is so complex and requires professionals from all areas of study to make it among the best. Every office and division is just as important as the others and no part of ODOT is insignificant.

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

Arriving at ODOT with two years’ worth of Environmental Science classes under my belt gave me much of the background information I needed to understand why OES is necessary. I have taken classes in environmental policy and management as well as other biological and physical science classes, so I can relate to the ecological practices performed at OES.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

While I learned much of the terminology and policies that are used in the workplace in my classes, I felt that I wasn’t completely understanding what it was I was hoping to accomplish or why. My experiences at ODOT have allowed me to better understand most of what has already been discussed in the classroom as well as helping me discover what it is I want to be doing with my degree.

What are your goals after graduation?

After graduating from Ohio State, I hope to go to grad school for Ecological Restoration and do work on the West Coast.

What do you liked to do in your spare time?

When I'm not studying or working, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family and traveling internationally.

Hannah VanLaningham

VanLaninghamHannah VanLaningham is a post-graduate at The Ohio State University studying Geography. She has worked as an intern in the Office of Environmental Services since June 2016. Here is her story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

ODOT is my first true office job; prior I worked in restaurants and retail throughout my entire undergrad. Going out in the field is always great as you know how you'll be spending your entire day. Sometimes office days can be a little daunting as it can be difficult to find ways to take up your time. ODOT has taught me effective time management as well as how to continuously seek out and develop new projects.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

ODOT is not your stereotypical government job, especially within the Office of Environmental Services. Everyone is so friendly and always willing to help out. There is cross training available, allowing you to reach out to different departments to gain lots of field experience.

How have your education experiences helped you here at ODOT?

My undergrad experience was interesting as it was a mix of biological geography and industrial/infrastructure geography. I went into my internship already having an understanding of NEPA and the endangered species act but until this internship, I wasn't sure how those fit in with the infrastructure work ODOT is required to do. I had no idea that my knowledge of biogeography, population geography, and industrial geography would come in handy!

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

Absolutely. My undergrad degree was in Geography and even though I was required to take a couple of environmental science and biology courses, my main focus was on population geography - how humans interacted with their industrial and natural worlds. I didn't know I wanted to do ecological work until I was gifted the opportunity to work outside almost everyday. This has inspired me to join AmeriCorps where I will be working with a nonprofit, specializing in environmental stewardship.

What are your goals after graduation?

My goals are still very up in the air, but ODOT has helped to steer me in the right direction. Prior to this internship, I was never the girl who enjoyed camping, hiking, or just being outside in general. But after spending so much time performing field work, I've developed a passion for the outdoors from wading through streams for mussels, to catching and gathering data on snakes, to exploring old train tunnels for bats. Whatever I end up doing, I know that I'll be wanting to spend the majority of my time outside in the thick of all the hands-on action.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to do lots of things during my spare time! I am at the gym almost everyday taking a spin class, struggling through Pilates or lifting. You can also find me at one of the metro parks around Columbus going for run or on a long weekend hike with my friends. I also enjoy longboarding, biking and relaxing on the patio with a glass of wine and my roommates!

Kelly Peterson

PetersonKelly Peterson, a senior at The Ohio State University majoring in Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife, began her internship with the Office of Environmental Services October 29, 2018. This is her story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

I have gained a lot of real world skills in my time at ODOT. Whether it be in the office or out in the field, I have been able to learn so much from the people around me. I don't think I could have had the experiences I've had working anywhere else.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

When I first started at ODOT, I was surprised by all of the projects that we are involved with. Each one is unique and has a different set of challenges to work through.

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

A lot of what I have learned in class has been brought to life throughout my time at ODOT. Being able to use what I have learned in class on real projects and situations with real outcomes has been very rewarding.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

I have been able to use the skills I have gained while working at ODOT to inform my work in the classroom. Having a deeper understanding of certain topics because I've been involved in that kind of work already has been invaluable.

What are your goals after graduation?

Work full-time and enjoy life without school for a while!

What do you like to to in your spare time?

Hang out with my friends, go to trivia, host game nights, listen to podcasts, and occasionally do nothing at all!

Planning

Lance Porter​

Lance Porter, a junior a The Ohio State University majoring in City and Regional Planning, began his internship with the Division of Jobs & Commerce June 27, 2016. This is his story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

I’ve learned how to carry myself in a professional environment and how different divisions of government work together.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

Honestly, just how big ODOT is. I wasn’t aware of how many people worked here until I started.

How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?

It hasn't really. I think working at ODOT has provided more real world experience than I would receive in a classroom.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

ODOT sometimes makes class frustrating because you may be learning about something in class that you’ve already been exposed to because of ODOT.

What are your goals after graduation?

I plan to stay in Columbus for a few years, and then move to San Francisco.

What do you like to to in your spare time?

Skateboard. Spend time in nature. Deejay events. Make music, paint and spend time with my cats.