Century West News

Century West Internship Program: Turning Students into Engineers

Century West is committed to investing in our industry and our employees. One of the many ways we prove this is through our internship program. While we have hosted summer interns through much of our 55-year history, our internal recruiting and retention working group launched a more formalized program in 2023 that included pairing interns with Engineers-in-Training (EITs) as peer mentors, standardizing in-house and field opportunities available to interns, and eight weeks of informative presentations aimed at preparing interns to enter their careers.

As we launch into our second year of the updated internship program, we connected with one of our 2023 interns, Teagan Clancy. We asked her to share her insight on how the intern program impacted her decision to join our Portland office full-time after graduating from George Fox University this May. Teagan is one of many former interns who chose to continue with Century West after their internships. She will be joined by fellow 2023 intern Sean Loughran, who graduated from Oregon State University in June and starts in our Bend office in early July.

Teagan was happy to report that her internship experience heavily influenced her decision to join Century West. She shared, “The education on who the company was had the biggest impact on why I wanted to work here, and I enjoyed the work I was doing and the people I was doing it with.”

While Teagan’s senior project gave her some practical experience, Teagan shared that her internship was the most useful experience that prepared her to launch her engineering career. She noted that the internship heavily aligned with her current work as an EIT and that much of the internship knowledge was related to her day-to-day work. Having the internship experience gave her the confidence to easily transition to full-time work after college. As one example, close to 90% of the CAD skills she uses daily stemmed from her internship here. Most of the changes she has experienced transitioning from an intern and college student to full-time EIT have been in her personal life, particularly the joy of no more homework!

Teagan cited Century West’s culture as a major reason to join the company. We asked Teagan to weigh in with her observations of the environment between offices and employees. In her own words, “I feel like the community here allows me to bring my personal life to work, and I can be myself at work. I felt valued as an intern, and I felt the tasks I worked on were helpful to the company. People want to know who you are, and everyone is so helpful! I’m never afraid to ask anyone questions, and I know I can go to different people, and they’ll all be happy to help me. The environment makes it feel very easy to learn in, and I’ve felt supported by everyone.”

When asked what advice Teagan would give future engineers considering joining Century West, she responded, “Ask as many questions as possible because people are willing to teach you and stay curious. There is always something to learn!” Teagan shared that she is currently enjoying working on designing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb ramps and shared her passion for improving accessibility options for people. She loves working on community projects and helping the community improve. As she moves forward in engineering, she is looking forward to seeing a project go from start to finish and exploring all the other areas of municipal work to broaden her experience.

When she is not in the office, Teagan enjoys biking and climbing outside. She can also be found reading a good book or playing one of her favorite board games, Settlers of Catan or Scrabble.

Although this is only our second year implementing our updated program, Century West’s internship program has many notable alumni. Among them is Vice President Matt Rogers, PE, who interned in our former materials lab for two summers before joining our Bend office. More than 30 years later, Matt oversees firm-wide business development after a long career leading municipal and aviation engineering and planning projects.

We hope that this year’s intern class will benefit as others have from the program’s commitment to providing construction inspection field experience, hands-on training in CAD, and the opportunity for interns to fully immerse themselves in our company’s culture while growing their understanding of public works engineering. We could not be prouder to foster an office culture structured around growth and career development from start to finish.

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