Work vs. School. In the past couple weeks I’ve begun to think more about which side is more appealing with the impending approach of classes starting. Depending on who you are, along with your affinity for education or love of your job, a choice between the two may or may not be easy. For me, I used to dread summer because it meant working all day, every day at a monotonous job which made for an extremely boring life. It also was a time when I didn’t think I needed to do much studying for school, so going to classes and working 15-20 hours a week seemed like a much more appealing choice. Nowadays however, I’m actually, for a rare point in my life finding myself not wanting school to start. I’m aware I’m probably in the majority on this, but for me school has usually been enjoyable and work has not. Where I’m going with this is that working at Olsson has been an extremely enjoyable experience, one I don’t want to end (full-time, note that I am continuing part-time in the fall).
Where I used to think a 40 hour workweek, or normal 8 hour workday was far too long, I now have weeks were I work 45+ hours or 11 hour days that go by and leave my wondering how it was possible the day moved so fast. A big reason for this is the people and general culture at Olsson, as well as the tasks and assignments given to students. I’ve already touched on the variety of work I do in the Land Development department, so I’ll talk a bit more about the people and culture here, and then finish my final post highlighting recent things I’ve done towards the end of summer.
· Familiar. It may have been mentioned already, and you’ll hear it here, but many current employees started as interns, including the current company president! If that doesn’t give the internship program some legitimacy I don’t know what would.
· Helpful. There are many extremely proficient CAD users who are always willing to help out, and you can always learn more about the civil engineering, and in my case land development, field by the short conversations you have every day with the people around you.
· Interesting. Aside from the normal everyday work conversation, I’ve gotten to learn more about the people I work with through our everyday chit chat to break up the day. It’s hard to describe to someone not experiencing it firsthand, but I find myself laughing quite a bit on a daily basis!
· Supportive. Through seminars just for interns, to paying for interns to be part of a city-wide internship program, and providing wellness and other activities for full-time employees, you couldn’t ask for a better work environment.
· Taking a site visit to see underground detention chambers being installed below a future parking lot
· Permits, permits, permits. Learning more about the behind-the-scenes things that need done for a project to work
· Conceptual plans. For a Walmart project, before they approve a store there are many basically prototype plans they look at. I was able to play around with a site layout without it being too technical, but still being seen by Walmart execs, which was very fun.
I have to cut myself off so I don't go on forever, but I feel it’s a good summary of my summer. And by now, I'm sure you've realized my title didn't have much to do with anything (it did contain 2 relevant words), but I hope it got you hooked enough to read this. To end, I can’t think of a better or more cliché way of describing my experience so far than:
Time flies when you’re having fun!
Below - the detention chamber being installed