An encounter at Florida Polytechnic University’s Career and Internship Fair drove Catarina Andrade to a summer internship that sees her working with engineering-related departments at the Florida Department of Transportation.
The mechanical engineering major is a pavement evaluation intern and primarily works with the group of professionals responsible for road resurfacing at the agency’s offices in Bartow, Florida. Other technical groups she has worked with at FDOT include geotechnical, laboratory, quality systems, and earthwork.
“I really like all the work I’m doing here and being able to learn so much about what goes into creating and maintaining safe roadways,” said Andrade, a rising junior. “They want me to have an idea of all the groups and all we do here. It has been very fun.”
Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Andrade is a graduate of Ronald Reagan Senior High School in Doral, Florida. She said she is grateful for the career and educational opportunities she has great access to at Florida Poly.
“I decided to go to Florida Poly because it is focused on STEM, and I wanted to have smaller classes with more contact with the professors,” she said. “I wouldn’t be here with this great opportunity if it wasn’t for Florida Poly. My decision to come here was definitely the right one.”
As her summer internship progresses toward its August end date, Andrade said she is hoping to continue working with FDOT during the fall 2023 semester.
“I’m learning lots about roadways, but I’m also learning how to communicate more efficiently in a professional environment,” she said. “It’s nice to interact with people already in the industry and they know all about it.”
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