Supporting the next generation of engineers is one of the most important ways consulting firms can contribute to the profession. Each year, Century West brings on two to four summer interns who support design and construction projects. Historically, some interns stay with us past the summer, working part-time during their final years of school and joining our team full-time as Engineers-in-Training (EITs) after graduation. Current EITs who have previously interned with Century West include Jules Kampe, Elizabeth Wilson, and Sydney Borek.
This summer, we are delighted to be hosting two wonderful interns: Jennylin (Jenny) Duran in our Portland office and LiJun (Li) Wright in our Spokane office. Jenny is heading into her senior year at George Fox University (GFU). Hailing from Peru, Jenny is pursuing her second Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. For the last two years, she has done research on ecological sanitation for densely concentrated urban neighborhoods in Iquitos, Peru. During the school year, she works at GFU’s MakerHub and supports the Office of Engineering. Li is working toward her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Washington State University (WSU), and is splitting her summer between working for Century West and participating in research at WSU focused on geosynthetic clay liners and DNA/RNA in microbiology. We are thrilled to have such hard-working, talented women as part of our team!
Both Jenny and Li jumped right into project work upon arriving at Century West. “As an intern, you come into the midst of projects,” Jenny says. “It’s like a river flowing at its own pace, and you just have to jump in.” Jenny has been contributing in a significant way to several projects, including surveying and design work on large transportation improvement projects for clients including the cities of Tigard, Milwaukie, and Salem. Her favorite project so far, however, was working as part of a team to complete a Pre-design Runway Distress Inventory at the Troutdale Airport. “It was the first time I thought about the role of a civil engineer at an airport, but the high level of mentorship of [Project Manager] James Kirby provided me with valuable knowledge,” Jenny says. “I liked how James brought us together and explained the big picture, the tasks, our roles, and how we all played an important part to get this project done efficiently. It was a big learning curve, but Austin Gernhart, Kyle Sonnevil, and Elizabeth Wilson made that curve go smoothly. I am grateful for their constant support.”
Li was drawn to Century West after meeting Spokane Office Manager Steve Nelson at a career fair. She was looking for an opportunity to work with GIS, and Steve had recently helped several clients obtain money from Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to complete wastewater and utility infrastructure mapping and graphing. “I wanted to apply my GIS knowledge to smaller towns in Eastern Washington,” Li says, “and I liked the idea of being able to help smaller rural communities.” Li has also had the opportunity to grow her AutoCAD drafting skills and is working on a Facilities Plan for the Town of Springdale. One of Li’s standout experiences was learning about EPANET from EIT Michael Berggren. “He built and modeled a water system with elevations and pressures, and showed me how to the run the model so I could see how the different elements work together,” Li says.
While our interns will soon be returning to school, we hope their time with us will help them further their career goals. “I appreciate sitting in this program and learning,” says Jenny. “It is an opportunity to be challenged, grow, and see what people with my degree do and how they play a part in serving the community. I want to take what I have learned back to Latin America and improve their infrastructure one day!”
If you or someone you know would be interested in future internship or EIT opportunities with Century West, please visit our careers page at centurywest.com/careers, or email HR at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!