Business Center

Why Interns?

#interns #recentgrads #recycle #CDOT #inspiration

By: Keke Kosse, Process Improvement & Change Management Intern

June 1, 2020

A group of interns at the February 2020 Intern Report Out standing in front of a CDOT signCDOT interns at the February 2020 Intern Report Out

The Office of Process Improvement (OPI) at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has been employing interns since 2011. Interns support the OPI, gain valuable government work experience, and carry innovation, change management, and process improvement to their next roles. To the right is a photo of CDOT interns at the February 2020 Intern Report Out- a biannual event for CDOT interns to share their experiences with an audience.

Having a strong intern team is a value-add, especially when so many recent graduates and current students are looking to apply their newly acquired knowledge to real projects. In this intern’s recent history, finding an entry-level job seemed nearly impossible without experience. Hiring interns helps them to gain experience and demonstrate how to apply theory to practice.

Businesses and government agencies also benefit from hiring interns. Interns bring fresh perspectives and practices to projects. An intern team with individuals from diverse backgrounds and areas of study helps to add variety and depth to projects and increase the problem solving ability of teams.

My internship experience has given me the chance to develop myself as an employee, to network with professionals across the state, and to work on projects that are important and what drove me to work for the government in the first place. I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Communication in 2015 and completed my Masters of Public Administration in May 2019. After graduating from my master’s program, it was very difficult to find entry level positions in state and local government. The experiences I’ve had in this internship so far will help me to be a much more competitive job candidate when I search for a full time position. For example, I’ve developed my own project management skills through taking CDOT training and courses and I’ve applied those skills as a project manager, leading my own projects.

For another current intern, Ginger “Genius” Kloska, her internship has been an opportunity to learn about applying business practices in the public sector. She’s using her time as an intern to discover where her professional passions are and to build her skills outside of the classroom. Her advice to a supervisor who wants to hire interns is to give them the chance to impress you. Ginger, who is studying for her undergraduate degree in Management from the University of Colorado- Denver, does the same work as the interns with undergraduate and graduate degrees and is grateful for the opportunity to make an impact. Additionally, Genius Ginger says that the greatest benefit of hiring interns are the endless opportunities to learn. While interns are learning on the job, existing employees can also learn from the interns so that there is give-and-take from all.

Other interns from the Office of Process Improvement have gone on to do wonderful things in the public and private sectors, within and outside of the State of Colorado. For additional information from a manager’s perspective, check out Michelle Malloy’s post on Govloop.com. To learn more about other intern’s experiences and successes, please visit our Internship Page.