Business Center

Intern Success Story: Dylan Grabowski

By Vivi Engen and Shay Reilly, Process improvement Interns
Posted: October 2nd, 2018

dylan grabowski

Dylan Grabowski
Intern at Department of Transit and Rail

Dylan was offered an internship at CDOT by following one of his main pieces of advice for future interns: “Network, network, network, it’s the most valuable thing you can do.” As a grad student at UC Denver pursuing a Master of Urban and Regional Planning, one day he sat down with one of his professors to talk about high-speed rail systems. A few weeks later, the professor, remembering Dylan’s passion and knowledge in high-speed rail systems, recommended him for an internship with the Division of Transit and Rail. He accepted-- a decision that jump-started him on the career path that he is still forging down today.

Background

Dylan’s interest in planning and transportation was sparked by a planning 101 course he took while pursuing his undergrad at Florida State University. He took the course simply because “it looked more interesting than anything else.” After taking planning 101, he began to expand his interests into housing, social equity, and transportation planning. Through these courses, Dylan became inspired to go into the planning field because he felt it was “a way to create a positive impact on others that would outlast [him].”

Internship at CDOT

Dylan was an intern in the Department of Transit and Rail from January 2013 through September 2013 and was brought back onboard from December 2014 through February 2015. One of his primary areas of focus was on launching Bustang, CDOT’s regional bus service that connects commuters along the I-25 Front Range and I-70 Mountain Corridors. He also worked on the Interregional Connectivity Study, the Advanced Guideway System study, and the Statewide Transit Plan. The position allowed him to build a lot of transferable skills, such as experience maneuvering a transportation project through a government process and how to analyze projects through a multi-disciplinary lens. He still applies these skills to his current work and is confident that without his experience at CDOT, he would not have ended up where he is today.

Where

Through Dylan’s time working at CDOT, he was able to network with a number of other influential organizations and individuals. Dylan built valuable connections in the field of planning, which led to a position with FEMA following his time at CDOT. With FEMA, he worked to rehabilitate communities throughout Colorado after the flood disaster of 2013 and facilitated conversations between local and state governments. Next, Dylan accepted a job at Caltrans, where he worked on multiple comprehensive corridor plans and as a liaison between the community and local governments in California.

As a planner, Dylan sees Denver’s growth as an “exciting opportunity for the implementation of new and innovative ideas.” This thinking led him to move back to Colorado and accept a city planning position with Jefferson County. In his current role, Dylan “wears a lot of different hats.” He explained that his day-to-day tasks never look the same and that he has developed an appreciation for public interest and needs. “People need to feel like their concerns are being heard and addressed by their government officials," he explained, “I interface with a lot of citizens to help clarify county regulations and access information about projects they want to pursue.” He describes the job as challenging, rewarding and beneficial in achieving his career goals.  

How Do I Hire Interns?

Learn about how to utilize CDOT’s internship program in your division by referencing the CDOT Collegiate Internship Handbook.