Rani Engineering is a minority and veteran-owned engineering firm specializing in survey, civil, transportation, utilities, and water services. Since 2020, Rani has taken on a handful of big projects within the public sector and was eager to build out its civil engineering team. When looking for interns, the diversity of projects within Rani’s portfolio helped draw in talented candidates.

“I was pretty interested in some of the work that Rani does. I know they’re working on the Light Rail extension and other interesting transportation projects here in Minnesota,” recalled Nick Rossini, a civil engineering major at the University of Minnesota. “So it seemed like a good opportunity to see what people are doing in the field that I’m studying in school.”

Rossini applied for this opportunity through the SciTech Internship Program. After several successful interviews, it was clear to everyone involved that he was the right person for the job.

“Small firms like ours need people who are willing to try anything and can pitch in everywhere,” said HR Manager Patricia Hanseder. “Nick was willing to see any aspect of engineering. He was open to exploring anything so we knew we could offer him a variety of projects.”

Impactful design
In addition to exposing Rossini to a wide range of tasks and responsibilities, many of these opportunities also enabled him to develop his civil engineering skillset. From learning how to use MicroStation software for a Hwy 65 drainage project to improving his understanding of CAD standards while working on a project for Franklyn Ave. Given a choice between office work and on-site, Rossini said, getting to work with design was by far his favorite.

“I really like the design component,” said Rossini. “I feel like that’s the way you can leave your impact on a project or add your personal take on certain things to make it the most optimal design.”

Before this internship, Rossini spent some time teaching English in Spain and was very inspired by the quality of public transportation that he used while in Europe.

“I think trying to make cities more efficient is really important,” Rossini said. “That’s where I want to work in the future.”

After this internship, Rossini plans to get his EIT (engineer in training) certification and then his PE (professional engineer) license, which will enable him to work as a full-time civil engineer.

Looking back on his time at Rani, Rossini said, “I really appreciate everyone taking the time to show me how to navigate [MicroStation]. It’s made me feel like I’m a part of the team. There’s just so much to learn, and there’s always more to know. And I gotta say, that’s probably been one of my favorite things.”

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