Tyler N.

July 20th – August 13th (7.58 hours) – One meaningful experience I had recently at my internship was when I met all my coworkers on my second day. During my first day, I mainly filled out paperwork, read company policies, and set up my work station. However on my second day, I was introduced to everyone at my site and this was something that stuck with me. After I went around and met everyone, I felt a lot more comfortable at my site because everyone was kind but also keep the work environment light and fun. It was difficult to remember everyone’s’ names but a few of my coworkers stuck out to me such as two of the draftsmen, Pattie and Royal. They made me feel included as I shadowed them for the rest of my day at my site. I was able to get a gist of their everyday work but also they always had fun and would work together on projects.

I hope to learn many things from my internship but two specifics would be learning how to keep on top of my schedule and how to be a contributing factor in a workplace. I hope the internship program with Mrs. Polivchak and Mrs. Wahl can help me learn to keep on top of my schedule because it is an added workload on top of my senior year. Within the past week, I have been exhausted because of my busy schedule with school, the internship and then homework from Tuesday to Thursday. I hope that with time, I learn from advice and help from Mrs. Polivchak and Mrs. Wahl about how to be more efficient and still complete all my work. Although it is an added workload, the internship will teach me many things. One major thing I hope to learn from my mentor and coworkers is how to become a sufficient and contributing worker in the workplace. So far I have seen how some of my coworkers have a dynamic in which to be more efficient but still stay relaxed while doing work and I think that over time I will learn and pick up on these habits to become a successful contributor to my workplace.

By being a senior in high school, I have already seen the work and effort needed in order to be successful. From a professional view, I have learned that life past high school requires me to be more independent and that I have to reach out myself in order to get help and assistance. On my first day, after receiving my paperwork, I was taken to my desk and given time to fill it out and also begin to set up my computer. The paperwork was very confusing and I realized no one would help me if I didn’t reach out, so I was able to do as much as I could and then I got up and reached out to the receptionist, Hope Bentley, for help. She was able to walk me through the things I didn’t understand and she helped me with the rest of my first day by helping me with logins and other small things I needed to do. On the other hand as a student, I have learned a lot already. The major thing being the work and effort I need to put in to everything, such as each of my classes, SEP, and on top of that my internship. Each one of my classes needs me to put in a lot of effort in order to be successful.

August 14th – August 27th (15.24 hours) – One meaningful experience I had in the past two weeks at my internship was learning how to be more independent. Over the past two weeks I have been working with a lot of coworkers at my site and I have begun learning how to use Microstation, a drafting software. Although I do work with others, I have learned that I need to carry my own weight and complete the tasks I am given on top of learning the workplace environment and collaborating with others. One of these experiences happened on Thursday, August 16 when I working with a draftsmen on learning how to use Microstation, when one the project managers wanted me to complete fix some errors on a drafting project. This experience did cause a little stress for me cause I needed to handle two things at once but I was able to overcome it while learning how to be more efficient with my time. Overall, I believe I will be faced with more experiences like this however, I will be able to learn how to handle these situations with a productive mindset.

August 28th – September 10th (16.35 hours) – One meaningful experience I had in the past two weeks was when I completed tasks that were not related to my interest in engineering. These tasks consisted of changing light bulbs, tightening bolts on chairs and filing. This experience was meaningful to me because I did not realize these tasks such as changing light bulbs would be present in my internship. Now after this experience, I have a better understanding and realization of what my internship will consist of. I realized that these tasks such as filing are critical to know in the professional world and that when I am asked to do them they will actually help me know how to completed these certain tasks both in business but in my personal life. From this point forward I will be capable of doing these administrative tasks.

Over the four weeks I have been at my internship site I have seen certain behaviors that I should follow but also need to improve. One of the first behaviors I noticed was everyone’s collaboration with one another. Although right now I am learning and training with new skills, after I am knowledgeable of these skills, I will begin collaborating with my coworkers and working with them to complete projects. Another thing I noticed from my coworkers, was that they used breaks times they are able to without missing valuable time. This will be one behavior I have to change because now that I am in the professional world I can not slack off because it costs the company money and I should have the responsibility like the rest of my coworkers to work efficiently and the full time I am there. There are many more behaviors I have noticed but I believe collaboration and break times are the most important to me while others like cell phone use are behaviors I already have and practice.

For the most part I believe I do fit the expectations for my conduct and personality. For most of my life I have been self-reliable and good at staying on top of my work and I believe that this naturally helps me in the professional world. Although I believe I have the skills that help me in the professional world and the expectations needed to succeed, there are most likely going to arise a few situations that will need me to actively work to meet the expectations. One of these situations is my teamwork skills because I have been an independent worker and learner. I believe that with practice and learning new ways to reach out to people I will be able to improve this skill along with many more skills. Overall, I believe that I will be able to fit most expectations but there will be a few I need to practice on.

One new word I came across was “topo”. While working on grading exercises which are training me how to draft and write out plans, I kept running across this word over and over again. I finally asked the Principal Engineer, Bruce Paton, what it meant and he said it refers to the map of a plan laid out. The simplicity of what it meant made me feel a little embarrassed of asking, but now that I know what it means I am able to see it and understand what it means and how to use it.

September 11th – September 24th (15.14 hours) – One meaningful experience I had at my internship site was working with Hope Bentley, receptionist, for most of my time in the past two weeks. Hope showed me how to do a lot of administrative responsibilities such as sending invoices, filing, and organizing projects. I saw that these things were not directly part of learning engineering but they are the groundwork in the office, that helps it function. I learned all these skills and later on they will help me in any business I am employed for. However these tasks not only taught me certain skills, they also let me observe the process of how an engineering project is put together and it drove my interest even further into the field of engineering. I noticed brainstorms, design concepts, and plans for entire communities and shopping centers. This was a meaningful experience because I saw how important the job of receptionist is to an office, but also how these administrative tasks were able to teach me certain skills but additionally observe certain aspects of the engineering field.

As I was filing paperwork at my internship site, I ran across the word truss and I asked Hope what it meant. Previously, I have seen the word and knew partially what it meant but I wanted to learned the technical engineering meaning of the word. She told me that it meant a framework that helps support structures and RICK Engineering mostly uses it model bridges but also roofs.

September 25th – October 8th (15.17 hours) – One meaningful experience I had at my site in the past two weeks was when one of the draftsmen, Su, asked if I could help him on a few things for a project. Even though I only got to start helping him with the project, it still meant a lot to me that I could consider myself valuable enough in the workplace to start helping others. This experience meant I had enough knowledge and practice to begin working on real life projects with my coworkers. I am also able to propose ideas and talk more about engineering with experienced professionals. I grew from this experience in that I feel more motivated to put in even more effort and work into my internship besides administrative tasks. Overall, this experience has helped me become even more involved into my internship and be proactive in the work environment.

In terms of communication, I mostly talk in person if I need to communicate with my mentor or coworkers. I feel that this is the best but also fastest way to ask a question or gain information from my coworkers that I need. This is the most appropriate because it shows I am able to properly talk and interact with my coworkers and mentor. It also can convey to my coworkers that I am comfortable enough in the work environment to reach out and talk with them. By talking in person I am also able to gain more information than if it was an email because I can quickly clarify or ask a question if I am confused with what they are saying. Overall if I need to communicate to my coworkers, I will primarily talk to them in person to gain the most information but also be able to connect with them and ask them for help or clarification.

If I need to communicate with someone at my site I choose between either email or in person. I usually email someone if there is an image or information about quantity so I can look off of it, instead of repeatedly going back and forth to ask them again to see it. I will usually talk to my coworkers in person if I need to clarify something or need help learning how to do a task. To prepare through email or in person, I usually write down what I want to say on a notepad and read it to myself to see if it makes sense or is a quality question. Throughout my time at my internship I have been able to feel more comfortable talking to my coworkers and mentor in person so I use email as minimal as possible. In conclusion, my main form of communication is in person with email being second and I take time to prepare what I am going to say or email to my mentor or coworkers.

One new word I learned over the past two weeks was the word “indexed” I was working with Hope in the copier room to learn how to flat file project plans, when she mentioned the projects needed to be indexed onto ONBase. I wondered what it meant but Hope taught me how to index projects and I have been practicing it for a few days. Indexed means to specify details and name a project to store it into the ONBase program.

October 9th – October 22nd (15.07 hours) – One meaningful experience I had over the past two weeks at my internship was my site visit to the Amazon construction site. Thursday after school instead of going to my site I met my mentor, Dr. Miller, at the Amazon construction site on Kolb an Valencia. When I first got there I was amazed at how big the site actually it is over 700,000 square feet. Throughout my time there I was able to see how the building is being built and how it looked in real life versus on a blueprint. It was really nice to see how an engineering project looks like after the planning was complete and how many parts there are to it. This experience was the most meaningful to me so far this year because I was able to get real life experience on the site of such a huge engineering project.

One new word I learned in the past two weeks was “site visit”. My mentor and I were talking and he asked if I wanted to go on a site visit to the Amazon construction site. At first I was confused because my connotation of a site visit was Mrs. Polivchak’s visit to my internship site. However the site visit was to visit a construction site and see if the building is on schedule, every detail is how it should be and see how the building looks like so far.

October 23rd – November 5th (10.08 hours) – One meaningful experience I had was learning how to rack project plans with Su, a draftsman. Part of his job is to take approved plans and rack them with others on a shelf that holds about 30 racks. I was able to learn how to rack and understand project title names which I found very interesting. The experience meant a lot because I was able to be hands on with ongoing projects and be in charge of organizing them. I am now able to understand how projects are named, know where the majority of all files are located and how they are organized. Overall, I was able to interact with another draftsman and learn even more from my internship.

Last Wednesday, one of my coworkers, Su, asked for my help on racking project plans. Before than I have only been introduced to Su but I was able to interact and help him over the past two weeks. He taught me how to rack project plans and he showed me how to read and know what titles on projects mean. Su initiated the conversation by talking to me in person. Racking was very interesting and I was able to learn a lot from Su who is another draftsman at Rick Engineering. I learned that Su was really nice and helpful and now I know I can also turn to him for help if need be.

One social interaction I had with a coworker in the past two weeks was with Hope, the receptionist. On November 1st when I arrived at my site for the day, Hope initiated the conversation by asking how my Halloween was. I responded that it was great and responded back with the same question. Since she is a part-time student at the U of A, she had class on the night of Halloween. I felt really bad but then I asked her how she liked U of A and we had a quick conversation on how U of A is a college I am thinking about going to. Overall, I am comfortable with communicating with my coworkers on a social level and I mainly interact with Hope and Tri on a daily basis especially on a social level.

One new word I learned over the past two weeks was “racking”. At my internship site there is about 30 racks where project plans hang from, last Wednesday I was taught how to rack approved project plans from these racks. It was difficult because it takes a wrench to loosen and tighten the nuts that hold the rack together. Racking was interesting because I got to see plans from 20 years ago and plans from now and I was able to observe and begin to recognize certain details on the plans.

November 6th – November 19th (15.16 hours) – One meaningful experience I had in the past two weeks was on Tuesday, November 13. It was Pattie Davis’s birthday, there has been birthdays before then but I was never at my internship when it was one of my coworkers’ birthdays. The experience was meaningful for me because I was exposed to a new side of my work and coworkers. Pattie was not there but we all took a picture with a ‘Happy Birthday’ sign and sent it to her. On top of her birthday celebration there was an early thanksgiving feast. From this experience, I saw that the work environment was not always a quiet place but also a place where I could be friends with my coworkers and be comfortable enough to reach out to any of them.

From the beginning of the semester, I was able to establish a schedule within the first few days of being at my internship. Throughout the entire semester, I was able to stick closely to my schedule with the exception of holidays and days where school events were happening. If I wanted to take a day off I would reach out to my mentor a week or two ahead and ask if I could take the day off. If I missed a day, I would also pick up and extra to make up the day that I requested off. Some days, especially when I was stressed in school, it was hard to come in because I was exhausted and it would feel easy not to come in. These days were difficult but I always persisted and went in as I was scheduled to because my internship is such a crucial part of my life but also I left my internship at the end of each day happier and more energetic then when I came in.

My time management skills grew dramatically over the past few months, mostly in September and October. These two months were the most stressful I have experienced, but I got through with my ability to adapt to my new schedule. Three days a week, I would go to school, my internship, and go home and do homework and fill out college applications. I had around 12-14 hour days where I had no free time and these took a toll in the beginning. This schedule pushed me to learn how to make a better schedule and sometimes take a step back and relax. Currently, I have a similar schedule but I have finished college applications and my SEP rough draft so my schedule is lighter and I have more free time to relax everyday. Next semester, I will most likely keep my current internship schedule and stick strictly to my overall schedule because I have been able find time to relax but still complete all my work efficiently in school and at my site.

One new word I learned over the last two weeks was plat. I was working and practicing drafting on a plan given to me by Dr. Miller, and I was exploring Microstation and old plans as a reference and I kept coming across the word plat. I did no know exactly what it meant so I looked it up and it came to be defined as a plot of land. When I knew what the word meant the plans and references I were using made a lot more sense since I now knew what the word meant.