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Meet Olivia Shields

Olivia is recognized for being very proactive in the job search process and has been very successful. She continued her internship experience into this fall semester with a new group, the water group, at WSP and is working up to 20 hours a week and balancing school. As part of her internship this semester, she is learning new software. This past summer, when a supervisor had to take an unexpected leave, she stepped into a management role for several weeks! She said some people thought she was a full-time employee and not "just" an intern.

-What attracted you to the company/position?

“After applying to a lot of internships, I ultimately settled at WSP because it gave me the opportunity to enter a line of work different from what I do in the classroom day-to-day, and I knew that there were multiple lines of work at WSP that I was interested in so I could meet with lots of different people in lots of different positions.”

-Tell us about your overall experience working there?

"Working at WSP was and continues to be great. I have learned so much from so many talented individuals with all types of educational and professional backgrounds. Every day is something new and you never know what the next day will be like. The opportunities I’ve been provided with are endless!"

-What does your typical day look like as an intern?

“I worked in their Advisory Services group this summer and am currently working in their Water National Business Line this semester as I finish up my senior year. Over the summer, I had the opportunity to work from home or at the office. I typically went to the office 2-3 times per week, but regardless of if I was in the office or at home, my days looked similar. I worked from 8-5 every day and started my day off with some coffee and breakfast before either calling my boss for new work or continuing to work on a project. All day, I'd either be in meetings or doing whatever project work that I have. During the school year, I basically do the same thing but instead of working 8-5, I work around my class schedule.”

 -What did you learn from this role?

“Aside from sharpening my technical skills, my roles at WSP have taught me a lot about what it's like working for an engineering firm. I served as deputy PM for a project this summer while balancing 2-3 other projects at a time and I'm currently juggling multiple projects in addition to school, so my time management skills have become spot on. I've also learned to speak up whether it be asking to be put on interesting projects or if you're overwhelmed with your workload.”

 -What is a piece of advice that you can share to students who are seeking an internship?

“Transparency is key and if you're struggling with anything, your boss wants you to tell them because at the end of the day, you're a team and they want their team to succeed, but that's impossible when someone is struggling. If you're interested in going into consulting of any kind, juggling multiple projects at once and appropriately delegating your time is a key skill that you need to learn and will gain as you start entering the line of work. If I could give any advice to students looking for internships, even if you have one already, is to network and reach out to people. Reaching out to someone in a different department and asking to grab a cup of coffee is how I got my foot in the door for my current internship. Utilize your resources and make connections at your company and don't be afraid to reach out to people in different areas of expertise that you find interesting! If you're looking for a position, use LinkedIn and any resources that you have to your advantage, you never know what sending an email or message with your experience and expressed interest can do for you!”

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