4 Ways Bohler’s 2020 Summer Internship Program Breaks the Mold

07 July, 2020
Bohler's 2020 summer interns join a Zoom meeting


Summer internship programs across the board have been disrupted by COVID-19. At Bohler, our internship program creates opportunity for the next generation of engineers and landscape architects, and plays an irreplaceable role in our firm’s purpose and growth. While many companies have been forced to cancel their summer internship programs this year, Bohler identified a way to keep ours moving—and the new format is breaking the mold on the traditional internship.

Here’s how.

1. It’s 100% virtual.

Bohler’s typical internship program prioritizes extended face-to-face learning opportunities. With that not possible, our University Relations and Learning and Development teams partnered to completely restructure the program in a matter of weeks.

Now, our 22 interns are engaging in live virtual technical and professional development trainings led by firm leaders. They are also working remotely on a practice project throughout their nine-week internship under guidance from experienced Bohler mentors. The virtual set-up enables interns to continue learning while prioritizing their health and safety.

2. It offers expanded access to more leaders than ever before.

Bohler’s leaders have always had a significant role in the internship program within their region. No longer restricted by geography, the virtual set-up allows for more interaction with Bohler’s senior leaders across our entire footprint. This exposes our interns to land development in different geographic regions and disciplines. It also offers interns more opportunities to learn directly from our leadership’s experience.

3. We’re training interns in more technology.

As with Bohler’s traditional internship program, our interns are still gaining valuable first-hand training and experience with CAD. But the virtual set-up also enables them to learn other technologies to work effectively from home. Our interns are regularly using Workspot, Microsoft Teams, Adobe for markups, and Zoom. They’re not only learning the tools to become engineers—they’re learning the tools needed to become professionals.

4. We’re building stronger relationships.

We are bringing the things we’ve learned about effective communication throughout quarantine to the program. Purposeful conversations and focused check-ins are intentionally built into the schedule to allow for interns to create meaningful and lasting relationships with our staff.

Each intern is paired with a “buddy” in their office that they virtually meet with one-on-one on a weekly basis, providing a close connection to the local team. The interns also have regular individual check-ins with the University Relations team to discuss their progress, provide feedback, and ensure they’re having a valuable experience.

A virtual alternative to our internship program not only allows Bohler to continue offering a valuable learning experience, but it provides a unique opportunity with unexpected benefits for a future generation of engineers. According to one intern, Devon Paysour, “The balance of technical sessions with individual project work has allowed me to apply what we learn immediately and work with my team and project advisor to learn best practices.”

COVID-19 presented an opportunity to look at Bohler’s summer internship program differently. In doing so, we found a way to flip the script on our traditional program and make it even more impactful.

Learn more about Bohler’s University Relations team and our internship opportunities here.

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