Guest Post: Engineer-in-Training tells what she's learned

Guest Post: Engineer-in-Training tells what she's learned

February 19, 2014

Today, we bring you a guest blog post from Engineer in Training Elizabeth Weil (you might remember she also recently blogged about the components of a plan set).

In today's post, she describes what she learned and accomplished during her rotation through ADOT’s communications division. You can read more about the EIT program in this 2012 blog post.

By Elizabeth Weil
Transportation Engineering Associate

As an Engineer in Training, I’ve spent the last two months in the Office of Communications, which is a rare choice so I’ve been told. Some of my other rotations were more typical: Contracts and Specifications, Construction, and Traffic Design to name a few.

But one of the benefits of the Engineer in Training program is the ability to find out how everyone works together to build and maintain our roads. And as I have discovered, Communications is an important part of the process.

If you’re wondering, this blog is part of Communications, along with our other forms of social media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. So one of my assignments was to write a blog post, and another was to write traffic-related tweets from the Traffic Operations Center. I watched the video-editing process that occurs before our informational videos show up on YouTube. Social media is one way we communicate with the public; we can answer questions, give up-to-date traffic information, or convey information about a project or event.

Another part of the Communications team is the group of people who work with the media, which is how you see us on TV or hear us on the radio. The Public Information Officers taught me about being interviewed; they asked me difficult questions and filmed my answers, which I later had to watch. I assisted with writing two press releases as well.

I had never been to a public meeting before, and I was finally able to attend one. These meetings are a way for the public to voice concerns over aspects of a project or ask questions. I especially wanted to attend a public meeting because it is closely related to what many engineers do, whether the project is in the process of being designed or constructed. And if you’ve ever wondered whether or not somebody answers that project hotline number we advertise, I was given the opportunity to answer some of your questions about road closures and the locations of ongoing projects.

This is the last of my two-month rotations, and I am about to start my final six months of the Engineer in Training program in Roadway Design. I now have a better understanding of what the different groups of ADOT do, especially Communications. I even spent some time learning about how the Adopt-a-Highway program works and the benefits of having volunteers and sponsors clean our highways. The Office of Communications does much more than I ever knew about, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn (and practice my writing skills).

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