We completed our first successful year of the IEA Aspire summer internship program in early August 2022.
The program wrapped up with our IEA Achieve event. IEA Achieve included an evening networking reception at Top Golf and a day of ice breakers, a leadership panel, and intern presentations.
IEA’s growth and steady flow of contracts highlighted a need to recruit and retain great new staff.
To achieve this, IEA staff teamed up to develop an internship program that fosters a healthy workplace culture and draws in prospective young candidates.
To get a better understanding of what went into putting this new program together, we sat down with the program leads for a one-on-one conversation:
Bryan (Fort Worth Office Director) has always considered this program a “pet project” and feels that in the past our interns have had more of a “haphazard” style of training. Now that everyone is back to the office, he was able to push the Aspire program forward. Bryan hopes a more structured and planned approach can lead to a smooth learning experience that is mutually beneficial to IEA and our interns.
Kyle (Director of Municipal Services) is excited to have the opportunity to mentor and develop young engineers while cultivating a welcoming environment in hopes of attracting them back to IEA once they have completed their degrees. He also said that “the experiences you get now are what you will get in the future as a full-time employee.” Kyle believes the IEA Aspire program allows our interns to show our Project Managers what capabilities they’ve got so they don’t have to start at the bottom when they return to IEA.
Jennifer (Director of Marketing) has been with IEA for almost as long as the company has been around, she has been a key asset in combining all of these ideas into a cohesive plan. Jennifer had the team start collecting lessons learned to bring into the 2023 internships to give each years interns the best experience we can provide.
As for the interns themselves, John Solas (Bridge Intern in Houston) seems excited to finally have a chance to put some real-world applications to all the information he has gained in school. After a site visit in June, John said, “I think being able to see the site, and the site where you are going to do a project on definitely helps, because you get a firsthand experience. And you could take note of things that you are going to working on, how things are, how it’s going to work for the public.”
Many of the Dallas interns participated in Friday lunchtime get-togethers. They are excited to put this on their resume, and if all goes well, apply for full-time work in the future with IEA. With all the feedback from 2022, it looks like both IEA and our interns have benefited from this summer. This is a successful first year for the IEA Aspire program.