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 Christian Cervantes

 

Christian Cervantes, graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Environmental Sciences. He interned in the Division of Planning, Office of Environmental Services. Here is his story:

What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?

With regard to the most beneficial learning experiences, first and foremost, is the close working relationship I was able to have with the Office of Environmental Services staff. They were some of the best in their respective fields, and I was able to learn an immense amount working with them. They served as the best mentors I could ask for, taking all my questions, bringing me on all events they could and sharing their knowledge with me. They made it a point to include me on anything they knew was within my capabilities, and they included me on things that pushed my abilities to their max capacity.

What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?

The research component and the freedom I was given as an intern made my internship an important experience for my professional development. To be able to take part in or even initiate a research project with a staff so willing to jump in and help out is not something that is common in all internships. I will forever be thankful for the resources and knowledge the staff provided. With their help, I was able to facilitate and kickoff research projects of various sizes. In my interview for my new position, the employer was very intrigued at my internship experiences facilitating or even initiating research projects.  

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

The networking the Office of Environmental Services provided was something truly remarkable. I met professionals all across the state in various roles, fields and positions. All were eager to discuss and share their knowledge. I was also able to attend meetings and conferences that provided immense growth for my professional development –- even the happy hours were amazing networking events. Within the office itself, I made connections here that helped me grow, not just on a professional level, but also a personal one. I got to work with staff and interns from various educational and personal backgrounds that required us to combine our experiences and respective fields to accomplish tasks. Some of the interns also served as mentors and great teachers themselves, and I tried to return the favor by sharing my knowledge whenever possible. Learning to work with various people of diverse backgrounds was a growing experience that I am extremely grateful for.

How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?

I was able to learn crucial skills that had other employers quite intrigued by my resume. These included things such as the waterway permitting process, mussel survey reports, ESR’s, QHEI’s, and research surveying/data collection. All I had to do was ask and the next thing I knew, I was immersed in a new project or experience that allowed me to expand my skillsets.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, exercising and traveling.

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