From Intern to Designer: My Stantec Story

August 22, 2018

An average day did not consist of menial tasks that nobody wants to do, but consisted of tasks that mattered

 

By Jennifer Grijalva

My journey with Stantec began at a career fair at Arizona State University. I nervously walked into the career fair, holding my portfolio that contained copies of my resume and a list of companies I wanted to speak to. After spending hours the night before researching companies that would be at the career fair, I had narrowed down my list.

The first company I walked up to was Bury. They caught my eye because they offered an out-of-state internship opportunity and a summer program where I would get to explore different departments and work with other interns from all over the country. After speaking with them at the career fair, I ended up getting an interview and eventually received an offer to spend the summer in Austin, Texas.

I decided to take the offer and move to Texas for the summer. Shortly after accepting, I received an email announcing Stantec had acquired Bury and I would now officially be interning for Stantec. Stantec had not been at the career fair, but I had heard about them and was immediately excited to be a part of what this announcement had to offer. As I would later experience firsthand, this acquisition opened my internship up to a lot of opportunities.

My internship experience in Austin, Texas, truly exceeded all expectations of what I was hoping to get out of it. Most of all, it equipped me with the skills and confidence to succeed in the civil engineering field. At the beginning, I was assigned to their transportation department and introduced to my mentor for the summer. Every other Friday, we would have a site visit to a different project and once a week, we would have a brown bag lunch where someone from a different department would come in and talk to us about that department. Aside from these kind of scheduled activities, there was nothing cliché about my internship experience.

An average day did not consist of menial tasks that nobody wants to do, but consisted of tasks that mattered. I was able to work on projects, attend meetings, and contribute ideas. My internship allowed me to explore other departments and helped me get a better grasp of “real world” engineering. The summer intern program Stantec offered was a truly rewarding experience.

Once summer came to an end, I decided I was not ready to leave Stantec. The acquisition opened many more opportunities that would not have been possible before. My manager in Texas referred me to the transportation sector manager of the Phoenix office. 

When I was settled back in Arizona, I interviewed to intern in the Phoenix office during my senior year. After meeting the transportation group here, I immediately felt at home—I was excited and accepted their offer.

My new team made the transition simple and effortless. Before my internship, I had always worked full-time while going to school full-time.

I was used to balancing work with school, but Stantec made it easy by providing me a flexible work schedule to accommodate my class schedule.

In an ideal world, an internship leads to a job. And after interning in the Phoenix office for over a year, I knew this department was the perfect fit for my career.

I had learned so much from my team members and I enjoyed knowing the projects I had worked on made a positive impact in my local community. Towards the end of my internship, I was fortunate enough to accept a full-time offer and continue to be a part of Stantec as a civil designer in their transportation group.  

Jennifer Grijalva is a civil designer for the Stantec Transportation group. She works out of the Stantec office in Phoenix, AZ. 

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