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Student interns soak up ‘immersive’ experience

This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to complete an internship with the corporate communications group at Hanson Professional Services Inc. in Springfield, Illinois. Hanson hosted 16 students in its Springfield headquarters and 21 in offices across the country in numerous disciplines, offering us the chance to gain hands-on experience and develop our skills.

As the corporate communications intern, I expanded my knowledge of writing and editing through my involvement in website improvements, social media posts, blogs and project write-ups. In June, I accompanied my department to a news conference for a mural installation on the site of The Hub, a multimillion-dollar transportation center for which Hanson has provided design engineering and project management. The facility is part of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project. I enjoyed the opportunity to work on several tasks and learn more about the different roles in marketing and corporate communications. I am grateful to have collaborated with welcoming, supportive people who value my insight, encourage me to learn new things and celebrate every special occasion with sweets!

Life in the working world

In addition to my work, I participated with my fellow interns in Hanson’s internship program activities throughout the summer. Every week, we attended lunch-and-learn sessions that featured guest speakers discussing topics including sustainability, communication and finances, as well as panels of Hanson employees who gave us career advice. We also had lunch with Hanson’s chairman and CEO, Sergio “Satch” Pecori, to hear about his journey at Hanson and discuss what we were learning.

This internship introduced me to many new friends as I got to know other interns and mentors in different departments, and my weekly meetups with my mentorship group were some of my favorite experiences. At the end of the summer, each of the interns presented the projects they worked on and shared their favorite aspects of their internships. I loved hearing about everyone’s involvement, from the sites they visited to the design programs they used.

‘Community and support’

Several other Hanson interns shared their experiences and favorite parts of their internships:

“I have learned a lot of soft skills during my internship. Since I am a project management intern, I was able to interact with a lot of different companies and people, and I was able to work on skills such as communication, teamwork and organization.” — Isaac Rennison, project management intern, Springfield

“I would say my favorite part of Hanson’s intern program has been the opportunity to not only connect and learn from professionals in the field, but to form friendships with them, as well. My co-workers have been so welcoming and helpful; I know I can go to any of them if I have a question or even if I just need someone to talk to. I’ve loved having the opportunity to make friends with other interns as well — people my age who are interested in the same things as I am and are passionate about engineering as well. It has been nice to feel like I have that community and support.” — Abby Guntz, roadway intern, Corpus Christi, Texas

“One of my favorite projects I have worked on was a prestressed precast concrete deck beam replacement. It was immersive and thorough, as I checked the design calculations and criteria of the deck beams to check that the beams would be able to support the loads across multiple spans. The project brought in information I have learned in some college structural classes. That is always exciting to see, because students are known to ask questions along the lines of, ‘How would this be used in the real world?’” — Chloe Fess, bridge structures intern, Springfield

“What I enjoyed most about Hanson’s intern program was the variety of work I experienced over the course of the summer. I worked on many different projects in the office, but I was also able to go on site visits and play an active role in the field.” — Macy Mann, project management intern, Springfield

Future focus

Hanson’s intern program reflects the company’s investment in the future and emphasis on experience. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to intern at Hanson and am excited to see where my education, coupled with this experience, directs me in the coming years.

Anna Shea studies marketing and information systems at Loyola University Chicago and will begin her senior year this fall. After graduation, she hopes to have a career in marketing.

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