March 24


How to Train Your Young Engineer/Intern

By Mike Spack

March 24, 2016

engineers, Intern, Spack Academy, traffic study manual

edited boardIn my experience, starting a new job meant the following script:  fill out payroll/benefits paperwork, find my cube, get setup on phone/computer, and meet the team.  Then my boss would loosely throw me into working on projects.  It took weeks to months to get comfortable and I often felt like I was bothering my boss when I had questions. To keep me occupied, my first boss even gave me the Highway Capacity Manual and Trip Generation Manual to read when I had down time.

With Jonah starting, Bryant Ficek and I decided we should be a little more thoughtful in getting him acclimated to Spack Enterprise.  We laid out his first two weeks to make sure he’s busy and also getting introduced to the large variety of work we do.

Bryant and I have been on both sides of the desk, patiently going through the training and learning process as well as hiring new employees and training them in the ways of our business.

Over the years, we have developed engineer tools that we wished we had when we started new roles. We have successfully used these tools as we have brought new team members into the fold. While this may sound like a shameless plug for some of our products, I am sharing with my readers what I have found to be effective in helping my new engineers get up and running as fast as possible. I welcome my readers to share the tools they have found to be helpful in training new employees as well. Post your success stories below or email me your ideas! I would love to hear how others teaching and training new engineers and interns.

As for us, our training success comes from the nine key tools in our Spack Academy Complete Package, which includes:

  1. Traffic Study Manual (with free preview)
  2. Traffic Counting Manual
  3. How to Prepare Proposals article
  4. How to Manage a Study article
  5. Sample basic Traffic Impact Study
  6. Sample Parking Study
  7. Sample Mixed Use Traffic Impact Study
  8. Sample Travel Demand Management Plan
  9. Sample Trip Generation Memo that concludes a full Traffic Impact Study is unnecessary

Jonah already has two years of experience as a traffic engineer, so integral to this training is teaching him how WE do things at Spack Consulting and Traffic Data Inc.  We’re also having Jonah document his experience to identify areas we can improve on.

Another benefit of having him go through these Manuals is that Bryant and I sprinkled in a lot of the lessons we painfully learned on the job, such as why you should get your data collection scheduled as soon as possible when starting a Traffic Impact Study.  Hopefully these stories will help Jonah avoid the mistakes we made.

Training a new employee often slows the manager’s own productivity in the short term and it can be a painful process for both the new employee and the manager that typically takes months.  We created our training materials at Spack Academy to help you shorten a new traffic engineer/intern’s learning curve.

Click the button to download a free preview of the Traffic Study Manual we use with our new hires.

Button - Traffic Study Manual Preview

SPECIAL OFFER:  Now through April 30, 2016 you can get 15% your total Spack Academy purchase, including the Traffic Study Manual when you use the SPRINGTRAINING16 promotional code at checkout.

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Mike Spack

My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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