Greg Pertsev - Internship Experience

Greg Pertsev
CSU student Greg Pertsev, at the project site visit of the Pueblo Dam (an addition of a unique discharge valve) in Pueblo, CO

My name is Greg Pertsev, I am a Civil Engineering student at Colorado State University (CSU), graduating in May 2015. I am an elected treasurer for the American Society of Civil Engineers, student chapter. My 5-year goal after graduation is being a manager of a small-scale project of a global corporation.

According to U.S. News & World Report, CSU Civil Engineering department is ranked No. 31 in the U.S. Although CSU has a very strong engineering program, taking required classes and electives for your major gives you basic knowledge, “engineering essentials.” Having additional work experience is what makes current CSU graduates stand out when entering the job market.

In the summer of 2014, I interned with Colorado Springs Utilities, after hearing about this opportunity from the department academic advisor, Laurie Alburn. This internship was one of the most valuable and unique experiences of my educational career. During the internship, I was able to contribute to a Billion-dollar water delivery project, Southern Delivery System (SDS), and interact with project managers and engineers of Colorado Springs Utilities and MWH Global, a leader in water infrastructure. SDS is currently in the construction phase and includes 50 miles of pipeline, 3 pump stations and a water treatment plant, designed to deliver water from Pueblo to Colorado Springs.

Throughout the course of the internship, I was able to incorporate and enhance my engineering skills, time management, leadership, and effective team organization. While working at the field office, I greatly enjoyed seeing the construction process, observing large-scale concrete pours, and learning how to interpret structural and rebar drawings. Couple of weeks into the internship, I realized the full value of the opportunity to work closely with program managers and therefore, at my request was transferred to the main office. From office assignments, I learned about project controls and procurement, got involved with change management, and gained experience in resolving contractor claims. At the end of the summer, all interns had to organize a presentation for the project leaders to describe our experience and progress throughout the program; which became a great lesson on public speaking.

After completing this internship, I became more confident, more professional and more accustomed to working in an office environment. This experience has increased my enthusiasm to join the industry and has made me more focused and time-efficient student for my remaining year at CSU.