Front row: Jackson Hickle, Shari Kleis, Martha Burket, Justin Babcock Back row: Emma Reinart, Lydia Anshus

Since 2015, Alliant Engineering Inc. has hired civil engineering majors through the SciTech Internship Program, giving students unique, hands-on exposure to their future industry. This summer they outdid themselves and welcomed six interns to their team. As Alliant looks toward the future growth and success of their company, they’re eagerly strengthening their talent pipeline along the way.

“We put effort in training each intern and put them on actual projects to show them that we value them, in hopes that when they graduate, they will want to end up here,” explained Heather James, an HR Generalist at Alliant. “Our philosophy is that we want them to feel like they’re making an impact just like any of our full-time engineers do.”

A fostering environment
When we spoke with this summer’s batch of interns, everyone expressed their satisfaction with the level of responsibility they received at Alliant.

“I was surprised that I got my own project. It helped me see the big picture,” said Shari Kleis, a junior at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. “I also liked that I got to get out in the field and wasn’t just working in the office the whole time.”

“It’s been a lot more hands-on this summer. I actually feel like I’m contributing and get to see what’s going on behind the scenes,” agreed Jackson Hickle, a junior at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. “They’ve really made it clear that they want my experience and my skills to grow.”

Prior to this internship, Hickle had two years of experience working with construction, as did Justin Babcock, also a junior at the U of M. When looking for real-world opportunities this year, all the students agreed, Alliant’s company culture was a big plus.

“Company culture is one of the most important things to me. So I was impressed by everyone that I spoke with; they seemed to really love working here,” said Lydia Anshus, a junior at the U.

“The biggest thing that drew me in was knowing that Alliant was very interested in helping me determine if this what I want to do in my career,’’ said Martha Burket, an Environmental Engineering major at the U. “It wasn’t how much work can they get out of me, but how much I can learn.”

A rewarding experience
Alliant’s interns received plenty of opportunities to learn while working on a variety of civil engineering projects, some of which included conducting a Hwy 169 intersection crash analysis, roundabout designs, ADA compliancy, and a 35W wetland project, to name a few.

Looking back, everyone had good things to say about their time at Alliant, but Anshus made an impression when she said, “This has been an incredibly rewarding experience. It’s really made me realize how glad I am that I chose this as my career path.”

Get involved
Looking to build your small business workforce? SciTech’s new program year is currently underway! Apply now and start planning your internship experience today.

Returning SciTech students can send their current transcript to to reactivate their account.