Four Internships Give Broad Practical Industry Experience

Alyssa Thompson considered both architecture and civil engineering before landing on architectural engineering, a blend of the two that not many colleges offer. 

“I thought Chicago was a great place to learn about buildings. The Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering and the architectural engineering program were highly rated, and I was also very excited about the Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) Program and working with students from different majors,” she says.

Over the course of her time at Illinois Institute of Technology, Alyssa realized that she wanted to focus on building systems and energy conservation in buildings.

“Buildings account for 40 percent of energy consumption and carbon emissions in the United States, and I’d like to be part of the change to limit carbon emissions and help minimize climate change,” she says. 

Alyssa has embraced internships as an integral part of her education. She was a real estate solutions intern at the Illinois Facilities Fund (IFF), a field/office engineer intern at Kiewit Building Group, a mechanical engineering intern at dbHMS, and a mechanical engineering intern at Environmental Systems Design (ESD).

She says these gave her a range of hands-on experiences, including working at construction sites, learning how designs are applied during construction, and understanding the industry from a nonprofit lens, as well as technical skills such as drafting in Revit and doing HVAC design calculations. 

“These experiences gave me a full view of the construction and engineering industry, and how all the different parts work together. Additionally, they allowed me to apply the concepts I have learned in my courses and take them a step further through actual projects,” she says.

Alyssa also made time to have fun along the way. She was a member of 33rd Street Productions, the theater club on campus, where she participated in and helped lead a variety of shows, including playing Cousin Itt in The Addams Family.

As a theater lover, she enjoyed the range of concerts and live theater available in Chicago.  

“Illinois Tech is a great place to go for college because you will learn a lot in your courses, but also from the people around you. There are countless student organizations to aid in professional development and to just have fun,” she says.

Her internship at ESD in summer 2022 led to a job offer, and Alyssa is now working at the engineering firm as a mechanical designer.

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