At FHU we believe the saying that “Every expert was once a beginner.” In fact, some of our favorite experts were exactly that when they began their careers as interns at FHU. Internships have long been a part of our company culture – FHU began hiring interns back in the late 1980s, just a few years after our founding, and currently has five interns in four of our offices.
Adam Denney, PE, PTOE, a 15-year veteran of FHU, spent his entire college career as an intern before he was hired full-time as a traffic engineer shortly after earning his degree from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Adam began his internship in the fall of 2006 when he started his first year of college as an architectural engineering major, but said it wasn’t long before he changed his major to civil engineering after one of his first projects collecting traffic data. He believes his internship gave him a 4-year head start on his career.
Now Adam is a mentor to FHU interns, including Peyton Weiss, a current traffic engineering intern in the Omaha office. Peyton said the opportunities he was given after first starting as an intern in 2018 also led him to change his major, from agricultural engineering to civil engineering. Peyton will continue to intern on a part-time basis this fall while completing his senior year at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. For him, the people, the fun environment, and the hands-on project experience makes FHU an amazing place to learn the business of being a good engineer.
Ryan Saline, PE, a transportation engineer in the Traffic Operations and Safety group in Greenwood Village was hired as an intern during the summer of 2016 between undergrad and graduate school. Right away he was given opportunities to attend meetings and get involved in projects. He said the combination of being able to directly apply what he learned in school and the people he worked with made it easy to accept a full-time position in 2017 after completing graduate school.
Blake Walter, GISP, an environmental scientist in our Des Moines office, interned for two summers before he was hired full-time after earning his master’s degree in 2018. Blake’s internship allowed him to begin implementing things he was learning in school and some of the GIS tools he created during his internship are still used today. He said he was thrilled that he was allowed to flex his environmental and GIS capabilities from the very start of his internship.
Adam emphasized that we try to treat our interns like entry-level employees who are given opportunities to work on projects and are exposed to a wide variety of the business. As he put it, “We want an intern who is a potential hire. We are training them to be a full-time employee at FHU.”