Internships and Jobs
When it comes to internships and jobs, the phenomenal resources of Chicago await you. One of the advantages of studying at UIC is that you have access to internships at corporations, startups, and government agencies year-round, while students at schools outside of major cities may only be able to hold an internship in the summer.
This page is designed to help you focus on career resources that align with civil engineering and related fields.
Undergraduates are encouraged to complete at least two internships before graduation—for skill development as well as a competitive edge in the full-time job search. The Engineering Career Center (ECC) is here to help you along the way! Visit its site early (and often) to make the most of its resources and dedicated staff.
Why choose civil engineering? Civil engineering is very broad and an umbrella for many other disciplines. This major teaches the art of how to overcome obstacles and be responsible for projects, for safety, and for future generations. It is also a constantly growing field, which allows for continuous learning. There is always room for research and improvement.
Some thoughts on diversity: Diversity is something UIC is proud of in general. Diversity made learning more exciting because students were not only coming from different countries but from different professions. We saw that sometimes a single problem could be solved in different ways, depending on the person solving it. This gave me an insight to always look outside of the box and get out of my comfort zone.
What was UIC like as a transfer student? At the beginning, it is easy to feel lost, but I want to emphasize that it is important to make connections with professors and ask questions. Make yourself stand out by participating and being involved. UIC has a lot of engineering organizations that provide not only scholarships and networking opportunities but also support in academics. I am glad I became active in one organization that helped me when I was academically struggling.
Words of wisdom: Do not get discouraged when it gets hard. It is not impossible, and it gets easier toward the end. It feels amazing once you earn that diploma. Also, make sure to do research and see what your future career entails.
Traffic Group Engineer
What’s great about your job? I love seeing how traffic works, including all the little details that go into planning and designing traffic signals and how traffic is managed to mitigate delays due to, say, road closures.
How do you hope your work will create positive change in the world? I hope that we design ways to move traffic in the most efficient way possible to avoid congestion and the negative environmental impacts that come along with that.
How did the College of Engineering prepare you for your career? A specific thing that helped me hit the ground running was the Guaranteed Paid Internship Program, which guarantees summer internships for freshmen who successfully complete the requirements sets forth during their first two semesters. This program is how I got my first internship.
What was your favorite course? My favorite course was CME 440 Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure taught by Associate Professor Sybil Derrible. The class helped us come up with better and more sustainable ways to design infrastructure.
Structural Engineering Specialist
What are some of your day-to-day tasks? I work on the structural design team. Most days, I design and analyze structural elements and connections on structural software such as ETABS and RISA.
One-sentence “Words of wisdom”: Believe in yourself! There will definitely be times when you will think that maybe engineering isn’t for you. I was there, and it’s not a great feeling, but the thought is false.
What are some of your day-to-day tasks? Site design, including stormwater management, permitting, and site layout.
How do you hope your work will create positive change in the world? My hope is that our designs can help to decrease carbon footprint and costs and create greater sustainability for companies and producers that make a difference in the world.
Favorite thing about your former department? Many of the professors for the upper-level courses are practicing professionals. As students, we saw classroom ideas utilized in real-world applications.
Engineering-industry person you admire most, and why: Christopher B. Burke. He is a great professor and provided me with opportunities to learn and grow during and after my time at UIC.
Coolest thing you’ve done in the past year: Traveled across Europe from Germany to Paris to London to Dublin.