Graduate Students Glimpse Their Future at MDOT Open House
Morgan State University graduate students wore their best suits and listened eagerly and intently as Frank Barber welcomed them to the Maryland Department of Transportation's interview open house for the MDOT/MSU Graduate School Internship Program on May 17, 2017.
Barber, Organization and Development Manager for MDOT's Office of Human Resources, introduced mentors who were equally eager to woo the students to come to work for their particularly agencies. The mentors touted perks that ranged from great views of wetlands to a chance to fly in a four-seater airplane.
Phil Sullivan, Chief Performance Officer for the Maryland Transit Administration, noted that he had hired a Morgan intern before and was trying to hire another one "just to throw that out there." The audience laughed appreciatively, but in fact, no matter where students end up, the program gives them a chance to perform real duties, take responsibility and learn software that makes them highly employable.
Some 29 students applied for the internships, which offer varied opportunities, including project management, engineering, human resources and data management and analysis.
"I'm interested in public transportation and how new stormwater management regulations will affect public right of ways, not only roads but with public transportation corridors," said Sam Quick, who is working on his master's degree in landscape architecture.
MBA student Timothy Folorunsho said, "My goal is to go into project management," particularly as it relates to real estate. "I just itemized my preferred positions," he said, standing by the wall on which the available positions were posted.
Nneka Njoku, who is also working on an MBA, is interested in human resources, and she quickly spotted a position that involved the hiring process.
The goal of the day was to give students and mentors a chance to interact with each other at MDOT's headquarters.
Anita Jones, Project Planner with Morgan's National Transportation Institute, which facilitates the program at the university, explained the history and structure of the program.
"This program affords high-achieving graduate students the opportunity to gain professional experience," she noted, adding that it also gives MDOT a chance to retain some of the region's best students.
The highly successful MDOT/MSU internship program places students within the seven transportation business units that make up MDOT, covering everything from the light rail to the Port of Baltimore to the airport and mass transit. The student work full time during the summer and part time during the school year. This year's interns will start on July 5 and finish on June 19, 2018.
"We hope we can offer you an experience that will be part of your future," Barber said.