Engineering internship gives students new opportunities

Engineering internship gives students new opportunities

Livia Lund, Staff Writer

How does a paid summer internship doing something you enjoy and a guaranteed job through college sound to you? If you love engineering, that’s what the Phoenix Program can be to you. Though a South student hadn’t participated in the program for a couple years, this past summer South seniors Will McConnell, Asher Franicola, and Mohammed Mohammed became part of the unique program.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation joined forces with Project Lead The Way (PLTW) to create the Phoenix internship and also provide other opportunities leading from that within MNDot. Jesse Sirovy, an engineering teacher at South described it as, “A program to set [students] up, to guide them, from their engineering classes here into what kind of things they could do as an engineer.”

However, the experience wasn’t perfect. “I learned how to sit at a desk for 8 hours”, McConnell joked, although he still recommends it to other students. “I also learned a lot about how geodetic controls work,” he said. The geodetic controls are the “skeletons” used to map GPS.

After finishing the Phoenix program, students have the opportunity to become a college student worker for MNDot, or become part of the Seeds Program, an internship program designed to help students from minority backgrounds, from economically-disadvantaged homes, who are disabled or who are recently separated veterans, and gives them skills and experience for work as an engineer. A salary from the Seeds Program starts at $13.20 an hour but may grow to be as high as $17.49. As Mr.Sirovy says, This is the full deal.”