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Rohini Vembar is a junior at The Ohio State University studying Environmental Science. They have worked as an intern in the Division of Planning/Office of Environmental Services since November 2017. This is her story:
What skills have you gained from working at ODOT?
Though I haven’t been here for long, I have already gained valuable skills that I could never learn in the classroom. I have been able to get out in the field and get firsthand experience while also being able to learn more about what happens in the background. I’m also able to work alongside incredible staff who are experts in their fields. They understand what it was like to be a student who is still trying to figure out where they are going in life and have been incredibly helpful in the search to find what I’m truly passionate about.
What is the most surprising thing you've learned about ODOT?
Prior to interning at ODOT, I honestly had no idea that there was an entire office dedicated to ecological and cultural resources, which are some areas that I feel most people’s minds don’t fall on when they think about ODOT. It does make sense now, though, as Ohio’s transportation system is so complex and requires professionals from all areas of study to make it among the best. Every office and division is just as important as the others and no part of ODOT is insignificant.
How have your educational experiences helped you here at ODOT?
Arriving at ODOT with two years’ worth of Environmental Science classes under my belt gave me much of the background information I needed to understand why OES is necessary. I have taken classes in environmental policy and management as well as other biological and physical science classes, so I can relate to the ecological practices performed at OES.
How have your experiences here at ODOT helped with your education?
While I learned much of the terminology and policies that are used in the workplace in my classes, I felt that I wasn’t completely understanding what it was I was hoping to accomplish or why. My experiences at ODOT have allowed me to better understand most of what has already been discussed in the classroom as well as helping me discover what it is I want to be doing with my degree.
What are your goals after graduation?
After graduating from Ohio State, I hope to go to grad school for Ecological Restoration and do work on the West Coast.
What do you liked to do in your spare time?
When I'm not studying or working, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family and traveling internationally.
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