Business Center

Lessons Learned During my Internship Experience at CDOT

By Corey Niemeyer, CDOT Process Improvement Intern
Feb. 24, 2017

Corey Niemeyer

Corey Niemeyer
Process Improvement Intern

I started my internship with the Office of Process Improvement (OPI) on July 18, 2016. I have recently been hired by Green Chef, a Colorado-based company, to work as a supply chain coordinator, focusing on improving its processes. Today is my last day at CDOT.

Thank you, CDOT, for a great internship! Here's a little bit about my experiences:

Most memorable experiences at CDOT

  1. Preparing for and working to help make CDOT's 2016 Leadership Forum a success, including staffing the 3 Peaks displays at the Forum.
  2. Traveling to Salida a CDOT employee to promote the Lean Everyday Ideas initiative during the 2016 CDOT Statewide Roadeo (an annual event designed to help CDOT maintenance professionals hone all aspects of their winter maintenance knowledge and equipment operation skills).
  3. Video recording a Lean Everyday Idea innovation about a new guardrail-pulling tool developed by a CDOT maintenance crew member near Colorado Springs.
  4. Presenting about CDOT's change management effort in late 2016 during the Annual Colorado Information Management Association (CIMA) Conference with a fellow CDOT intern and a CDOT employee.

What I learned

  1. Building relationships and change management are vital components of any process improvement project, regardless of the size and scope.
  2. Process improvement techniques can be used everywhere, including as a dishwasher, as learned from a fellow intern.
  3. Always ask, "Why is it done that way?"
  4. Your biggest asset is your team.

Advice to future CDOT interns

  1. Always keep an open mind about projects and challenges. The answers may be very different than what your first impressions indicated.
  2. When you need help, ASK! Your co-workers are great resources and may have already run into similar challenges.

I will treasure my experiences, memories, and friends gained from working at CDOT. I am very grateful for the opportunity and the great environment that the OPI provided me to learn and become a confident lean facilitator. I believe that my experiences as an intern at CDOT have prepared me to take on the world!