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Some advice for students on ways to engage with the CEE and transportation profession:

  • Review Transportation Engineering lecture from CE315 Civil & Environmental Engineering Profession course (2008)
  • Join PSU transportation email list. Attend weekly transportation seminars, ask good questions, view/listen to the archives.
  • Join Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning. Undergrads join PSU ASCE student chapter.
  • Visit CEE department job, internship and scholarship website, and apply for the many scholarships that are available.
  • Bring chocolate to CEE department staff.
  • Consider applying for the U.S. DOT Summer Transportation Internship Program. If you attend a university on the quarter system you can start the internship after your final exams.
  • If you are completing your master's degree consider the Presidential Management Fellowship Program. Applications usually due around October 1.
  • If you are a student pursuing transportation (many disciplines), apply for the FHWA Eisenhower Fellowhip Program.
  • Prepare for and take the FE and PE exams; my strategy was to only take them once (meaning preparation is important).
  • Professional organizations: WTS, Portland Chapter activities, ITE, Western District annual meeting, Oregon ITE, ITS America, ITS Oregon, ASCE, APWA, SWE, EWB, APA....
  • TRB: Subscribe to e-Newsletter, volunteer with a committee, e.g., Committee on Traffic Flow Theory and Characteristics, participate in an Annual Meeting, first review the Survival Guide, join the Young Members Council, explore Careers.
  • Learn about transportation agencies and intern programs: USDOT, FHWA (Salem), FHWA Federal Land (Vancouver), ODOT, WSDOT, Metro, TriMet, C-Tran, Multnomah County, Clackamas County, Washington County, City of Gresham, City of Portland.....
  • Meet our alumni and see where they work, agencies and firms such as David Evans, DKS, Kittelson and CH2MHill and PB.
  • Read academic transportation literature, visit PSU Library to access transportation journals and other resources.
  • View ITE Journal and study the professional advertisements in the back where many transportation engineering firms are listed.
  • Be a great writer. Visit PSU Writing Center. Before you submit a written product to a professor, have a friend or classmate critically review and edit it. Read great writing—a sure way to improve.
  • Have a great resume. Visit PSU Career Center, take a resume workshop and conduct practice interviews. Be sure to use action verbs when describing your experience. If you email your resume, save it as a PDF with a sensible name such as "lastname_firstname.pdf" (not "resume.pdf"). Use your PSU email or an email address that contains your real name.
  • I am thrilled to frequently write letters of recommendations for students whom I have had in class or worked with as they pursue graduate school, scholarships, fellowships, internships and jobs! It is helpful if you provide one straightforward email with the details including the deadline, your resume, and the criteria for selection. Many of these are done through online systems but if you need an actual letter please be clear whether a PDF or a paper/signed/sealed type of letter is needed. You can help by drating a few bullets outlining the key points you would like me to address. Usually the most specific letters addressed to individuals are better than "generic" or "to whom it may concern" types of letters.
  • Be multidisciplinary--take courses outside your major. Collaborate with colleagues from other fields.
  • Nervous about interviewing? Here are some suggested questions to ask you interviewer.
  • Read Wolf Homburger's essay about future of Transportation Engineering.
  • Become a confident public speaker. Become known for asking good questions. Join Toastmasters to work on this.
  • People are important. Support your colleagues, be a mentor, help prepare the next generation of leaders in transportation.
  • Value public service. Civility, ethics and loyality are important in your interactions with each other and in your work.
  • Integrity is an important trait in professional settings. When you see or hear about an injustice in the workplace or elsewhere, stand up and say something.
  • Give something back to your profession and to the community. Enjoy what you do. Have a passion. Be engaged. Have fun.