Carnegie Mellon University

Headshot of Kojo Aduhene

September 23, 2022

Gaining Mentorship, Experience in Summer Internships

CEE Senior Kojo Aduhene spent his summer in Ghana being mentored by structural engineers. He says that his experience showed him the importance of communication and project management—and proved that he could think like an engineer.

What did you do for your summer internship?

kojo-a-1-1.pngI worked in two different positions. For LMI, I was mentored by a structural engineer. We worked on a water tank project location within an industrial site. I followed him as he did his job, gaining hands-on knowledge of the operations and management side of engineering. 

I also worked for another group on a residential project—a three-story house. Again, I learned from a structural engineer on site and built experience collaborating with steel benders and carpenters. A post-tensioned slab was being made on site, so the engineers were preparing the markings for the closed tensioning which was very interesting to see. 

Why did you choose to intern in Ghana?

I was born in England and raised in Ghana, so it’s home for me. Eventually, I plan to return to Ghana after my studies are complete and I’ve gained industry experience.

How did your education prepare you for your internship work?

I’d taken a materials lab course where we did concrete testing and worked with reinforced concrete. I relied on experience from my classes in groundwork, soil mechanics, and fluid mechanics. I also got to see how management, project timelines, and talking with several stakeholders—concepts we’d studied in class—are used within the industry. Now that I’ve seen how strong communication helps a project to work more efficiently, I understand and appreciate it even more. 

What would you tell other students thinking about summer internships?

Internships give you a whole new sense of perspective beyond what you’ve learned in the classroom. Coursework gets you ready but you need to experience the much deeper and bigger complexities of the real world. My internships showed me that I could think like an engineer. 

What are your future plans?

After graduation, I hope to get a structural engineering job in the United States. After building my career here for 3-4 years, I plan to return home to Ghana.