Business Center

Intern Success Story: Eric Richardson

By Cynthia Case, Process Improvement Intern
Posted: Jan. 19, 2018

Eric Richardson

Eric Richardson

Eric Richardson started his CDOT career in January 2015, as an intern for the Division of Accounting and Finance (DAF) while simultaneously finishing his master's thesis on pedestrian casualties. Two of his interests are safety in transportation and policy.

Working at CDOT gave Richardson the ability to work with both of these interests first hand as well as being a springboard for his current position as DAF's budget and policy analyst, reviewing legislation for fiscal impacts on the CDOT budget.

During his internship, Richardson worked as the project manager to identify additional revenue streams for CDOT's Division of Aeronautics. His internship work involved researching Colorado statutes; evaluating policies and procedures; briefing CDOT's executive team weekly, and coordinating communication internally and externally.

Interns Bring Creativity to CDOT

Richardson believes that collegiate interns bring "creative thinking" to CDOT and help people look at issues from a new perspective. "At CDOT, everything is a well-honed process, but maybe that is not always the best process. Bringing in new blood to a team, especially each year, is good for creativity to the team as a whole," he said. "It can introduce new ways of thinking and solving problems—problems that you know exist and problems that you might not know to exist."

DAF currently employs several interns, and Eric says that those interns have helped improve the budgeting processes. "Some of the ideas for improvement germinated through management, but without interns, the execution would not have been nearly effective," he said. "There are always new processes that are created by our interns; we take those and run with them. It is good to bring in outside, hungry people who challenge the employees who are already here. It is good to meet new people, make new connections, and liven up the office."

Furthering the Pursuit of Excellence at CDOT

Richardson described the culture of CDOT as "excellence." "We want to be the best DOT in the country. That involves long-term planning as well as short-term planning. Sometimes there is difficulty in mixing those two together. However, we aren't doing it for ourselves; a lot of people here are pretty selfless. They are working because they want to improve the lives of the people in Colorado." This desire to help others is one of the reasons that Richardson left his former finance job in the first place. Here at CDOT, he is able to fulfill this desire of helping others.

Passing the Baton

Richardson's advice to current interns: "Volunteer to do projects that help your team and your organization. Branch out; if you have the time to take on something a little different, do it, and get to know people on different teams."

Richardson's internship allowed him to understand CDOT's culture before he became a full-time employee. In reflecting on his time as an intern, he said it was a "good experience to serve and understand who is good at various tasks as well as who the main players are. It is good to get experience at a more granular level."

 About Richardson

Before CDOT, Richardson worked for financial services firms in New York City. He moved to Colorado to study public policy at the University of Denver (DU). He received his masters in public policy from DU with an emphasis in national defense.

When he's not at work he enjoys skiing and hiking in the mountains, reading, movies, trying new food around Denver, traveling, live music, and listening to the New York Yankees on the radio.