Elizabeth Creswell, BLM Direct Hire Authority (DHA) Intern.
[ACE]: Please explain about your BLM DHA Internship.
[EC]: My role is to perform civil engineering design work for project at the Bakersfield Field Office for the BLM. Due to the recent fires there are road maintenance and drainage projects. Besides road work, other projects include a pedestrian bridge for a trail at a wetlands area, and campground design.
Can you tell me about your background?
My undergraduate degree and past internships are within architectural design. I grew up in Bakersfield and love outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. Recently I have worked for an engineering contractor within the energy sector, specifically oil and gas.
How did you find out about ACE, and what attracted you to this position?
I was nearing the completion of my master’s degree in civil engineering, and wanted to find an internship that would allow me to start putting my new academic skills as a structural designer to use. Looking at local internships, the ACE-DHA internship really stood out as an interesting opportunity that would provide great experience, and lead to a career within BLM. Since I appreciate and enjoy wilderness areas, it was a good fit.
Can you tell me a highlight and a challenge that you’ve had so far during your internship?
One highlight is how professional, kind and helpful the entire staff is at the Bakersfield Field office. They work very well together as a team, and management does an excellent job with keeping the office running smoothly.
A challenge is balancing out the wide variety of projects this internship offers. Since there are completely different focuses and objectives among the civil projects, it can be tricky switching gears and working on several of these at once. Good time management and organization is necessary.
This is a rendering that I completed for a kiosk poster showing the original stamp mill at the Keyesville mine.
Any goals for when you complete your internship?
To have completing as many of these challenging projects as possible. To become familiar with the areas of land around this field office that is managed by BLM. To improve my design skills with roads and structures as an engineer.
Do you have any advice you’d give to someone looking to join EPIC or get into this field?
Make sure that you enjoy the outdoors and different weather conditions. In engineering, this internship will provide you with very good experience getting to do a wide variety of projects. This is also a good opportunity to learn more about our federal government and understand the challenges that it faces on a daily basis.