Spotlight on Students: Lauren Klarsfeld
Which company did you intern at?
I interned at Jacobs Engineering Group in New York City.
At what stage during your undergraduate career did you complete your internship?
I completed my internship last summer, after my Sophomore year.
Describe the work that you did.
I worked in the Structures Department and reported to the manager, a bridge engineer. Day to day, I assisted in a wide variety of tasks relating to different aspects of civil engineering projects. First, I learned to use Microstation and AutoCAD in order to later assist with edits and revisions. I was also tasked with submitting applications for awards for different projects that the firm completed. Another part of my internship involved working with the geotechnical department, specifically, assisting with logs of borings and examining plan sheets for ongoing projects. I also utilized BIDX to gather information, set up webinars for the department and office as a whole, prepared project background information for upcoming meetings, and updated the event calendar each month. Towards the end, I had the opportunity to tour on-site field work at the World Trade Center with one of the project managers.
What did you learn from your internship?
I learned a lot about working in a department with many different types of people. Each person reacts differently to questions and provides different levels of work. There was a ton of trial and error involved, especially with respect to learning AutoCAD so quickly, but overall it was an excellent learning opportunity. It is important to seek these hands-on opportunities as early in your undergraduate career as possible.
How did your internship add to your undergraduate experience?
I’ve learned that completing an internship is the only real way to see what you are most passionate about. Working in this environment under supervision and strong leadership provided a new experience, distinct from working with my undergraduate peers. In addition to the professional engineers I met along the way, I connected with and have maintained strong connections with the interns who worked in other departments of the firm. These connections are the start to my own personal network, and I hope to continue to meet new people in the future.
How did your internship help prepare you for the future?
I was nervous in the time leading up to my internship. Having only completed my Sophomore year, I was worried I would not have sufficient knowledge to complete my assigned tasks. I soon learned that I was one of many interns working in the office, and the expectations for us were reasonable given our prior experiences and knowledge. Working at Jacobs instilled in me confidence in my abilities, and made me realize that while I can be prepared to take on a given task, there is always more to learn along the way.