January 28, 2023

What Makes a Good Engineering or Surveying Intern? 

Over the years, we’ve had dozens of students come through our doors looking for an internship. Some have a clear vision of what their career path will look like, while others are still searching for what calls to them. 

We at JBPro don’t believe you need a 30-year plan to be a good engineering or surveying intern, but here are a few key pieces of advice that can set you on the path to engineering excellence. 

Make Friends

While it can seem like a daunting task for those who are more academically inclined, building relationships can be one of the most important parts of being a successful intern. It’s common knowledge that in-person work can help create a network of peers who may afford you future career opportunities. What may not be as obvious is the immediate value of being completely comfortable with the team members you work with.

By getting to know coworkers, you are finding friends who can answer questions without judgment. Interns are able to progress much faster and with fewer mistakes when they are comfortable seeking feedback from their peers and supervisors. 

“My advice for people looking for an internship would be to look for a position at a place you feel you will fit in. No matter the type of work you are trying to find, feeling comfortable, welcome, and like the employees at your workplace want to help you learn is very important.”  – Justin Brewer, Civil Engineering Intern

The best time to use this advice is during your application process. Consider the team culture and see if you can envision yourself feeling comfortable being a part of it. If you find a great team that fosters success, you will be much more likely to enjoy your time as an intern.

Be a Student

It may seem redundant for a student intern, but it is a necessity for our team members to be lifelong learners. A desire to learn stems from a desire for excellence – the best way to create the best end products. Strong learners are the team members who ask the right questions and use the feedback they receive to improve their next project. 

In the context of a surveying internship, it can be very easy to fly under the radar and simply complete your requirements. Showing up, doing what people tell you to, and calling it a day will get you the credits you need to graduate. However, when we see interns looking for opportunities to grow, asking for further responsibility, and trying to understand the ins and outs of our work, those students leave with experiences that put them well ahead of their peers. 

“The exposure to both the field and office sides of surveying has really helped in filling in the gaps on what is involved across different types of projects. Getting that experience with JBPro has helped not only to connect principles and concepts I learned in school to their applications but to help direct my current and future learning in areas I want to grow as well.” – Sam Rose, Surveying Intern

When you have the opportunity to work with a firm, make the most of it by setting goals and finding mentors to teach you about what they have learned – it will serve you well.

Be Self-Motivated

When you aren’t working on client-related projects, it can be easy to settle into a habit of carelessness. If your work is always going to be triple-checked, is there any reason to double-check it yourself? Don’t fall into the trap of discounting the value you bring to an assignment. It creates bad habits and it’s not fair to yourself or to the team who is investing in you.

“In school when you have an assignment that you don’t feel like giving your full effort towards the only repercussion is your own grade or your own knowledge of the subject. When working an internship, every task you are responsible for completing is a reflection of yourself as an employee, the company, and you also know that the client has spent valuable resources trusting you to complete your best work. This internship has pushed me to give it my all every day I come to work.” – Justin Brewer, Civil Engineering Intern

Remember, a lack of experience does not mean you have to settle for a lack of excellence.

Succeeding as Engineering or Surveying Intern

We hope these tips have helped you get into the mindset of a great intern. Whether you are looking for your first foray into land surveying or to hone your skills in civil engineering design, bring your best effort to it every day!

Our team is dedicated to serving our clients (and interns) with excellence. If you or someone you know is interested in an internship with JBPro, take a look at our current openings!