By Borui Zhai, USC Viterbi Master of Science, Civil Engineering, Transportation Engineering, 2019
“Keep trying and know the opportunities out there” suggests METRANS Editor-in-Chief Priyanka Ramasamy who recently joined DKS Associates in Sacramento as a Transportation Engineering intern. I got an opportunity to talk to her about her path to gaining an internship and her experience at DKS Associates. DKS is a transportation engineering and planning with offices in California, Oregon, and the state of Washington.
“To start my career in the transportation industry, I started looking for Summer intern opportunities, especially those in private firms with the opportunity to work with multiple projects simultaneously and therefore to learn as much as possible within the short span of a summer,” Ramasamy explained. “I starting attending job fairs and networking events organized by ITE, WTS, and METRANS, and connected with professionals on LinkedIn. My experience at METRANS helped me a lot with email etiquette and communication skills,” she noted. “I secured this offer as a result of connecting to a DKS HR Representative on LinkedIn and received another offer from USC Alumni’s reference. I made my choice based on the one I thought gave me the best work experience,” she shared.
Ramasamy is excited that her experience both challenging and interesting, with the opportunity to learn by doing. “I am currently assigned to Design and Operations, working on traffic engineering projects with the Sacramento team as part of their Safety, Smart Mobility and Complete Street projects. DKS works mostly for Government agencies and I am happy to have the chance to see the industry from both consultant and agency perspectives.
For students looking for opportunities, Ramasamy recommends staying positive, keeping one’s the resume updated, knowing the latest news and technology in the industry and, most importantly, being open to new locations and new opportunities and ready to learn every day. She strongly believes that good networking and being able to market one’s skills with an effective elevator pitch and with the right attitude can get us where we want to go in our careers.
We heartily congratulate Priyanka Ramasamy on her internship and wish her good luck in all her future endeavors.
About the Author:
Borui Zhai is a second-year Master of Civil Engineering student at USC focusing on transportation engineering. He is an active participant at PSR METRANS events and a member of Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) USC Chapter. He can be reached at email@example.com