Video games for Work!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Author: Dan Gleason

Okay, with the way cellphones and other mobile devices have taken off the last few years, mobile games have become more popular. Pokémon GO being the most popular to date in the last year. How many people can say they get to play Pokémon GO for their job?

In all seriousness, that is not what I’m doing here at Olsson but I am doing something similar. At the beginning of the year, Olsson was hired by the City of Omaha to document and catalog all traffic signs in Omaha. Olsson covered areas from the Missouri River to Interstate 80/Interstate 680. That’s about 55,000 traffic signs.

When the project first started, I went out with another Olsson employee who showed me the ropes. It was, essentially, like playing a game. We’d drive up to the sign (because it was freezing outside), look at the date on the sign if there was one, take a picture of the sign, and record any information available about the sign. The next time I did this, I had another Olsson student intern, a friend of mine, help me. Since then, I’ve been by myself.

This has been my main project for the remainder of my internship at Olsson. I will be graduating soon. This project has helped me learn more about Omaha as a city and I’ve also discovered current and future sites for Olsson projects.  The hardest thing about this project was being alone and the battery life of my phone, but it’s not all bad because I can jam out to music as well as work whenever I have time aside from working hours.

My internship with Olsson has been a great experience. I learned valuable skills relative to my future career more so than any classes I’ve had. I met some very fun and interesting people that I now consider friends. I got to work on projects that were close to home as well as projects that I found stimulating and exciting. Transportation has always been an interest of mine and I’m glad that I got to see what working in transportation design was like. One of the best parts of being an intern at Olsson is that I got to work alongside my best friend, a fellow intern.

Overall, I enjoyed myself at Olsson. There were plenty of ups and too many downs that I have been through personally within the last year, but everyone at Olsson made it easier with their support and encouragement. I think it’s hard to find that in a company these days. I’m sad to be leaving, but I look forward to my future as well as maintaining relationships with people I have met here!