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I finished the GEDP May 31st, 2013 and I feel very fortunate to have begun my INDOT career in this manner. The program is perfect for those coming out of college who are concerned about making the transition from solving idealistic textbook problems to working in the real-world. As you rotate through the various departments you are assigned an entry level position and if there is anything you don’t understand someone will always help you out. Besides the transition into the workplace this program also helped me transition to life in Indy. I’m from a few counties away and didn’t have people to hang out with when I moved here, but through the program I was able to make some new friends that I could spend time with after work.
Another benefit from going through the program is that it gives you a true understanding of how big INDOT is. While in college I assumed an organization called the Department of Transportation simply designed roads and bridges, but after a few months of working here I realized there were more engineering departments at INDOT that I didn’t know of than I did know of. Rotating through such a large variety of Civil Engineering fields was great because it allowed me to gain a better idea of what those fields were like so I could be more certain of the type of work I wanted to go into. Now I am working with Bridge Design/Rehabilitation and I know this is the right place for me.
-Andrew Nicoson, Bridge Design Engineer
I started out in the GEDP Program for the then Indiana State Highway Commission back in January of 1981, as part of a group of 4 engineers at a then whopping salary of $17,914 per year. I had a great time interacting with other trainees both in my group and the group that started in the spring of 1980, there were over 20 of them and we did many things together, including playing softball and golf and going out in the evenings. Needless to say I made a lot of friends and had a great time!
The GEDP experience helped me a lot because I got to meet a lot of people and got to see what they did day in and day out. Most of those people stayed in their same positions for years and I learned who to go to for help and answers.
Based on my experiences in the GEDP Program I decided that many areas were not for me, that inking design drawings was definitely not for me and I decided that construction was where I wanted to be. I have worked in the Greenfield District and in Central Office in several positions including Project Engineer, Area Engineer, Field Engineer, District Construction Engineer and now the State Construction Engineer.
So I guess the theme for me was to meet as many people as I could and try to learn from them.
I think you will find that there are things you will learn in the GEDP Program that you will want to take with you into your future endeavours.
-Gregory G. Pankow, State Construction Engineer
Over all, my experience with the GEDP was very good. Most of the groups I worked with worked hard to find representative projects for the GEDPs to do, so you actually got a taste of their work. I got to try a lot of fun things that I’ve never had the opportunity to do since – bridge inspection, a ride in the INDOT plane, an I-69 public meeting, and all sorts of field checks. It was basically a year to try everything I wanted to, and to prove myself to all the engineers I worked with.
My experience with the GEDP has been invaluable. I met people all over the agency, in a variety of roles. Once I settled into my permanent position, I had a good grasp of what INDOT’s project cycle looked like, where my permanent position fit in with that cycle, and who to talk to in other offices, if we had a project that required coordination. It also aided me as a designer, because I had construction experience. I knew how things were built, and that made it easier to create plans that were constructible. I credit my GEDP experience with helping me gain the Hydraulics Manager position a year or so ago.
Now I’m the Hydraulics Manager for INDOT. I hired into Hydraulics straight out of the GEDP, and have promoted from within the office over the past 8 years.
-Crystal Weaver, Hydraulics Manager
My overall experience in the GEDP program was very good. I got to know the other GEDP employees very well and many of those friendships are still strong today.
The GEDP program was good for me because I got to see and experience some different aspects of INDOT, traffic, materials and tests and even got to ride with a maintenance crew for a couple days, replacing signs. Getting to move through INDOT and meet different people within the agency has proven to be invaluable. In our line of work communication is key and getting to meet people face to face and getting to know them and what they do, even for a short time, reduced the communication barrier.
After completing the GEDP program, even though I really enjoyed construction, I accepted a position within one of the central office design groups. Throughout my career with INDOT I have primarily stayed in design.
-Katherine Smutzer, Division of Engineering Services and Design Support
I started my career with INDOT in October, 2012 working as the Capital Project Funds Management Director. In my position, I am primarily responsible for financial analysis, project funding, agency financial outlook, and programming oversight of the agency’s projects in short and long-term segments. My position is very dynamic. I interact with and serve as a communication liaison between the District teams and Central Office teams, serve as a primary point of contact for the Executive team for project information and project funding, and interact with a wide array of people within the agency divisions.
I enjoy my job because it challenges my personal leadership and provides opportunity for interpersonal growth. I leverage communication, conflict management, and change management skills daily. My success hinges on the engagement of my team and how well I am able to develop team synergy and empowerment amongst my team members; I have a great team!
INDOT has provided me with an opportunity to utilize my hard technical skills and stretches my leadership skills on a continual basis. The best things about working for INDOT are the team driven atmosphere, a culture where change is a daily part of the business, and the relationships I have forged within the agency. Every day is different and brings new surprises, but striving towards the common vision of our agency’s Core 4 values moves everyone in the same direction. INDOT is implementing tools within a public agency that have yielded success in the private sector. This resonates in how INDOT is moving forward with innovative methods as a government agency serving its public.
-Clark Packer, Director - Capital Project Funds Management
I began my career with INDOT in October 2011 serving as the Assistant Bridge Inspection Engineer in the Vincennes District. My wife, Katrina (INDOT Technical Services Engineer), and I lived in Virginia Beach at the time, and our positions provided a long-awaited opportunity for us to move back home to Indiana. Although the East Coast provided many great learning experiences (and a beach only a few miles away), the personal values and ideals carried by Indiana residents, and opportunities for professional growth at INDOT, are allowing us to raise our new family in a truly selfless community and state.
In my current position of Bridge Inspection Engineer, I am blessed to be a part of a great team of inspectors with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Our team’s primary task is ongoing inspection of approximately 1,020 bridges and 1,800 culverts in our district. We are afforded several opportunities of servant leadership to our Indiana peers on a daily basis. Safety, responsibility, and fiscal accountability are the principles that drive our work ethic every day. Safety of our motoring public is paramount to INDOT’s mission, and we feel responsible for ensuring safety with every bridge or culvert structure we inspect. Our team understands that our structures are paid for with Indiana taxpayer dollars, and we manage our assets emphasizing fiscal attentiveness and superior customer service to Indiana citizens.
-Andrew Pinkstaff, Bridge Inspection Engineer – Vincennes District