Erin Fryz interned with the Ohio Department of Transportation, District 12, in Cleveland from May 2016 to 2017, while a senior at Kent State University earning a degree in Digital Media Production. Here is her story:
What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?
During my internship at District 12, I learned valuable skills that I still utilize on a daily basis. My supervisor Amanda McFarland taught me how to plan and prioritize projects, communicating both verbally and visually and the importance of teamwork. She was open and honest throughout my time there. She wasn't afraid to tell me if I was heading in the wrong or right direction with a project and for that, I'm genuinely grateful. On a day-to-day basis, I developed my writing, graphic design, video, customer service and social media skills. My peers at District 12 showed me what hard work and determination could lead to successful groundbreaking projects (no pun intended). My internship is over, but I'm able to look to my previous supervisor as a mentor that I can reach out to in my professional career.
What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?
Every day, I am surprised to learn about all the different areas ODOT has to offer. Whether it's learning about environmental site assessments or learning that roads have a pavement condition rating (PCR), each day brings curiosity and something new to learn. I'm fortunate to be a part of such an exciting field.
How have your education experiences helped you here at ODOT?
I believe my educational experience has helped me throughout my internship at District 12. I was able to incorporate my video background to communicate different projects or safety tips ODOT had to offer.
How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?
My experiences at ODOT aided and improved my educational background. I was able to take the skill set I acquired while working at ODOT and incorporate it into my schoolwork.
Erin Fryz, right, with her District 12 Supervisor Amanda McFarland
What are your goals after graduation?
My goals are to push myself in the workplace. How can I raise the bar in the next project I take on? Where can I make improvements in my work ethic? Even though I set goals for myself, I also want to surround myself with other professionals that I can be inspired by and learn from their experience in the field.
Editor's Note: Erin Fryz is a full-time employee at ODOT as the Digital Media Manager and Co-host of The Loop, a web show highlighting weekly accomplishments and notable stories about ODOT.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching movies, video editing and hanging out with friends. Also, anyone who has ever worked with me knows I'm an unapologetic and passionate Taylor Swift fan.