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DEC Internships: Investing in Future Engineering Professionals

Rodney Prince, designer, and William Gladbach, North Texas Division manager, teaching Nabin Shrestha, intern, how to review construction plans.

Quality internships are key to a young professional’s career advancement. Each year, DEC hires students from Texas universities to join us for a summer of hands-on experience. Our program offers a variety of opportunities for students to network, gain skills training and explore different career paths in civil engineering.

Growing Together

Our commitment to develop future engineers contributes to the success of our interns and our company.

Vicky Dinger, assistant Human Resources manager and internship coordinator, explained, “We’ve designed our internship program as a homegrown recruiting program. Internships can generate potential referrals and create positive word-of-mouth for the company. We also get invaluable feedback from the younger generation on how we can improve and make DEC the employer of choice.”

Interns become an integral part of a project team. They participate in everything from site visits and CAD work to project research and presentations. Our goal is to give students a wide range of real-world experiences to help advance their careers.

Nabin Shrestha, intern and civil engineering senior at The University of Texas at Arlington, said, “Working as an intern has given me many opportunities. I’ve received training in software such as MicroStation, HEC-HMS and AutoCAD, and been given access to DEC’s books and resources. I’m most thankful for the mentorship on real-life projects. I’ve learned how to do things like read construction plans for water and sanitary sewer projects.”

While an internship never guarantees a job, DEC’s program is structured to lead to full-time positions.

William Gladbach, North Texas Division manager, said, “When we recognized a need to expand our junior staff, we decided to develop and grow our own, which has been beneficial. We go to college fairs, bring in interns and train them in basic engineering. By the time they graduate, they’ve become familiar with us and vice versa. The process helps to create a seamless transition to a full-time position with DEC.”

A Success Story

Johan Petterson, DEC principal and Corporate Development manager, is just one of many internship success stories.

“I interned in the DEC Land Development department in the summer of ‘06. When I graduated three years later, I came back, looking for a full-time job. There weren’t any positions open in Land Development but, because of my experience as an intern, the folks at DEC decided my skills would be useful in a different area and I was brought on full-time. Since then, I have been given all the tools and opportunities I’ve needed to grow in my career. The leadership and the mentorship I received as an intern helped me get to where I am today.”

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