The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District Engineering Division welcomed engineering students from nine different state universities to its summer Student Intern Program.
The goal of the program is to provide engineering students with the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom with real-world work experience.
“I’ve been most excited about gaining experience in the engineering field and growing in knowledge of which emphasis of engineering I’ll pursue outside of college,” said Stephen Brandt, an Iowa State University sophomore majoring in civil engineering, and a summer intern in the District’s Design Branch, Civil and Environmental section. “I’ve been enjoying aiding the engineers on their various projects and really can see myself a part of this organization in the future.”
The internship began in June with an orientation followed by a resume building workshop and hands-on work experience alongside District staff. The length of the internship depends on the student’s schedule and when they get out of school in spring and start again in the fall.
“I thought I was going to be doing busy work kind of stuff, but they really have me on projects and doing real work, which I’ve been really appreciative of,” said Andrew Falk, a University of Nebraska - Lincoln sophomore majoring in electrical engineering, who interned in the Design Branch, Electrical Section.
The internship program also provides an opportunity to experience what it is like working for a federal organization.
“A lot of people, when they think of working for the government, think it’s scary,” said Sam Blaser, an alumnus from the University of Nebraska - Omaha, and former Omaha District student intern turned full-time information technology specialist in the Electrical Engineering section. “My dad thought I was basically going to be joining the military when I told him I was going to work for the Army Corps of Engineers, but it’s a lot more relaxed and fun than people think it would be.”
A highlight of the internship for many was a trip to Gavins Point Dam in July where they received briefings on the USACE regulatory program, dam safety and the production of renewable energy through hydropower. The visit included a tour of the powerhouse and spillway where they learned about the history and engineering of dams along the upper Missouri River as well as the important role they play in flood risk prevention.
The interns also participated in a field trip to Offutt Air Force Base where they learned about various rebuild projects following historic flooding to the base in 2019. The site-visit included a tour of several USACE construction projects where students were able to see the progress on the new Security Force Squadron Campus and Base Lake Campus’ softball complex.
According to one intern, the hands-on experience was a major benefit as he continues to work towards his educational and career goals.
“I came to get a glimpse of my future, I guess you could say, so when the time comes to job hunt right before I graduate, I can have an accurate opinion as to what exactly I want to do,” said Marco Santambrogio, a Texas A&M University sophomore majoring in civil engineering who interned in the Design Branch, Civil and Environmental section. “I would say USACE, even as only my first real internship, is already a strong choice. USACE has a proud history, is important to the country, has a strong culture, good and passionate people, stable pay and job security, and locations all over the world.”
The internship program also allows some interns to continue working part-time at the District through college semesters, return for subsequent summers, or even pursue a career with USACE following graduation.
The Omaha District’s Engineering Division regularly sets up career fairs booths at campuses where engineering students interested in the Summer Intern Program can learn more and submit resumes.
Upcoming career fairs can be found at https://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Careers/
Students and individuals interested in becoming an intern or careers at the Omaha District may also ask questions, request information and submit resumes to OMACorpsCareers@usace.army.mil