Falling in Love with Woolpert

By Karlie Clark, Woolpert part-time structural designer and University of Cincinnati student


Editor’s Note: For the last internship-related blog this year, we’ve chosen to highlight the “why” behind our interns’ passion for Woolpert. According to our summer internship program survey, 100% said they would recommend a Woolpert internship to a classmate; 92% strongly agreed that their internship gave them a realistic view of their field; and 77% agreed that they were challenged consistently with projects.

We were also excited that we converted 41% of our summer interns to fall/winter interns or part-time employees, compared to 33% last summer. We are recruiting now for spring internships, and our summer internship recruiting begins in February. Check out our careers page if you know a young person looking for great job experience.


I looked for a long time before I finally found those certain special qualities I was seeking. Before I knew it, what started as a summer fling turned into a real relationship. And I couldn’t be happier.

I guess I should admit I am having a love affair with my company, Woolpert. It began as a co-op, was re-kindled as an internship and then bloomed into a part-time job. I have fallen for the people and culture of Woolpert because I am constantly learning and tackling new opportunities.

As a student at the University of Cincinnati, I was required to participate in a co-op. A year ago, while searching for job opportunities, I noticed hardly any companies offered true structural engineering internships; they were always construction management, which wasn’t something I was passionate about. Because I wanted to work in Dayton for a short commute, I researched structural engineering firms and ended up at Woolpert’s website. It was a dream come true!

When I began my co-op, all my expectations were blown out of the park quickly. Everyone at Woolpert was so welcoming, helpful and understanding. I quickly began learning Revit, joining on-site visits and participating in design meetings.

I didn’t think twice when the opportunity arose to return for a second internship. I had no reason not to come back to a job where I am tasked with real responsibilities and deadlines that help me to learn and enhance the skills I need to become a better engineer and person.

The Woolpert structural engineering department is like a little family to me, and I never want to leave. Even though they weren’t planning to hire another co-op this fall, I wanted to keep helping the team. So, when I was presented the option to stay on as a part-time employee, I was thrilled to continue doing what I love while helping out my team. I haven’t been disappointed with my decision.

I have had so many amazing opportunities because of Woolpert. A highlight has been working on a project at the University of Cincinnati’s Lindner College of Business. This building is a once in a lifetime project located at my home campus. Going to weekly site visits and design meetings really made the project special since I observed it truly come to life from the ground up.

I think any intern would love working at Woolpert! Here, you are part of the team. You will not be tossed aside as the official coffee getter. I believe participating in an internship—and especially returning for a second internship at Woolpert—shows those entering the job market what a truly great place to work looks and feels like.


Karlie Clark

In addition to working part time at Woolpert, Karlie recently presented her award-winning paper, “Structural Steel Castings,” at the 2018 Structural Engineers Association of Ohio annual awards dinner. She was one of three scholarship winners.


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