Alex Robinson is a senior at The Ohio State University studying environmental engineering. He worked as an intern in the Office of Environmental Services from August 2016 to April 2018. This is his story:
What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?
One of the most important skills that I gained from my time with the Office of Environmental Services was the ability to assess environmental situations from various perspectives. I gained exposure to many different aspects of environmental regulation, protection, and consideration across a broad range of projects throughout the state of Ohio. I learned how to use the great wealth of human resources that ODOT had to offer, in order to achieve goals I never would have imagined completing alone.
What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?
I was most surprised by the intricacy of the planning process, and the checks and balances in place in order to provide the most well-rounded and beneficial project possible. I learned so much about how interconnected every aspect of a civil service project truly is, and how any change in an engineering design can adversely impact various stakeholders involved. I was surprised by how many well hidden environmental hazards existed in areas that I had never thought to be suspicious.
How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?
My engineering education helped me to apply critical thinking perspectives to ODOT projects that uncovered often overlooked issues. My education surrounding a broad scope perspective helped me understand the big picture of environmental issues, even when the details were complex or misleading. My education helped me understand the strengths and weaknesses of my capabilities and specialties, and how to use these most efficiently in this diverse work setting.
How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?
My experiences with the Office of Environmental Services helped my education by revealing new interests and curiosities. I was able to gain exposure to many various environmental topics at ODOT that I was then able to pursue in depth through my education at OSU. The staff in the Office of Environmental Services were so knowledgeable and passionate about their specific fields, that they actively sought to inspire interns to discover these passions on their own.
What are your graduation goals?
I plan to pursue an environmental engineering career that promotes an efficient and sustainable society that lives in harmony with the industries that support it. I hope to use my new found understanding of environmental intricacies to build a future that does not suffer from the past.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy playing bass guitar, fishing, and kayaking.
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