Share Email Opening

2020 Water Resources Intern 

About the Organization What is it you want out of your career?

If you're looking for an opportunity to grow, to be challenged, to work hard and to be part of a growing team, then Progressive AE may be the place for you. We work hard to surround ourselves with professionals who are more than just good at their job. We want engineers, architects, designers and support staff who have a desire to help shape our company. We need colleagues who will help us grow by thinking outside their job description. The work we do here is challenging, and sometimes the hours are long. But we're committed to serving our clients and providing the best solutions possible.

Progressive AE is a full-service, forward-thinking design firm. With offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Charlotte, North Carolina, we work on projects around the country that offer a variety and challenge you won't find at many other firms. And we don't relegate creativity just to 'creatives'-we encourage original thinking in every part of the organization-from support staff to engineering.

Since we're an employee-owned company, you'll be able to see the benefits of your hard work. And in return, we'll invest in you. This includes an in-depth wellness program with fitness classes and health coaching, flexible schedules, continuing education, mentorship, volunteer opportunities and internal leadership positions. In fact, we've been named one of the Best & Brightest Places to Work for since 2006, named Business Leader of the Year, received the Community and Educational Partnership Awards, and are the proud winners of the Governor's Fitness Award.

We are always looking for talented individuals to advance the strategic goals of our firm. If you are a big picture thinker with unique technical skills, we'd like to consider your application.

Category Student Opportunities  
Location Grand Rapids, MI  


Grow With Us: Progressive AE’s Summer Internship Program is a paid, 12-week opportunity that provides a 100% real-world experience for students early in their career. Throughout the summer you will apply academic learning to real-world situations and cultivate client relationship, problem-solving, and communication skills. And with service-learning opportunities, community outings, wellness participation, and professional development lunch-and-learns, you’ll build a foundation for working in the Water Resources field in the future.

As a Water Resources Intern, you will work collaboratively with scientists to conduct aquatic plant surveys, collect water quality samples, and conduct laboratory analysis. Typical work includes driving a pickup truck and trailering a boat to lakes in Michigan’s lower peninsula, assisting with loading and unloading of survey supplies, driving a 16-foot Lund boat, navigating with GPS, and recording field observations.


Client Relationships

  • Contribute to the Water Resources team and clients to ensure they achieve project schedules and budgets.
  • Participate in estimating the time required to travel to and from sites throughout Michigan’s lower peninsula. Drive pickup truck and trailer 16-foot boat, working long days up to 12 hours in length.
  • Assist with loading and unloading of survey supplies weighing up to 50 pounds.
  • Obtain or maintain boating safety certification.
  • Alert the Scientist or Practice Leader if you become aware of changes that could affect the project scope, schedule, or your work completion.
  • Provide field observations consistent with Progressive’s standards.


  • Assist in minor boat and vehicle repair and maintenance as necessary.
  • Provide laboratory analysis consistent with Progressive AE’s standards
  • Navigate a variety of weather conditions when driving pickup truck and boat several hours each day on the job, including hot, cold, wet, humid, windy, and wavy conditions.


  • Understand what the deliverable needs to be to meet your client’s project needs and what it takes to make projects successful.
  • Identify a variety of aquatic plants using basic knowledge of limnology.
Position Requirements


  • Your Education: Enrollment in a Biology, Natural Resources Management, Environmental Sciences or similar degree program. Completion of at least 1 year of coursework required, with preference for 3 years. Completed coursework in Aquatic Sciences preferred. Ability to identify aquatic plants and a basic knowledge of limnology are highly desirable.
  • Your License:
    • Valid driver’s license and good driving record required, with no driving or other infractions that would preclude insurability.
    • Boating safety certification or the ability to obtain certification.
    • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) certification preferred.
  • Your Knowledge and Experience:
    • Comfort working around and in open water in a variety of weather conditions. Basic swimming skills are necessary.
    • Ability to work and communicate successfully during long workdays.
    • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds, climb in and out of a boat frequently, and drive several hours each day on the job.
    • Attention to detail with an emphasis on quality work products and client service, demonstrated through your competencies.
      • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
      • Excellent technical, written and oral communication skills.
      • Knowledge of aquatic plants and basic knowledge of limnology desirable (and necessary within start of internship.)
      • Strong commitment to continuous learning.
  • Your Technical Skills:
    • Proficiency in Microsoft applications.
    • Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping experience preferred, particularly for data collection.


  • Composure—You are cool under pressure and do not become defensive or irritated when times are tough; you’re considered mature and can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; you can candle stress and are not knocked off by the unexpected; you don’t show frustration when resisted or blocked, and you’re a settling influence in a crisis.
  • Customer Focus – You are dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers; you get first-hand customer information and use it for improvements in products and services; you act with customers in mind; you establish and maintain effective relationships with customers and gain their trust and respect.
  • Informing – You provide the information people need to know to do their jobs and to feel good about being a member of the team, unit, and the organization; you provide individuals information so that they can make accurate decisions; you are timely with information.
  • Integrity and Trust – You are widely trusted; you are seen as a direct, truthful individual; you can present the unvarnished truth in an appropriate and helpful manner; you keep confidences; you admit mistakes; you don’t misrepresent yourself for personal gain.
  • Listening—You practice attentive and active listening; you have the patience to hear people out; you can accurately restate the opinions of others even when you disagree.
  • Process Management—You are good at figuring out the processes necessary to get things done; you know how to organize people and activities; you understand how to separate and combine tasks into efficient work flow; you know what to measure and how to measure it; you can see opportunities for synergy and integration where others can’t; you can simplify complex processes and get more out of fewer resources.
  • Technical Learning—You pick up on technical things quickly; you can learn new skills and knowledge and are good at learning new industry, company, product and technical knowledge; you do well in technical courses and seminars.
  • Time Management—You use your time effectively and efficiently; you value time; you concentrate your efforts on more important priorities; you get more done in less time than others; you can attend to a broader range of activities.
Full-Time/Part-Time Seasonal  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Non-Exempt  
EOE Statement Progressive AE is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is committed to providing equal opportunity to all qualified individuals in its employment practices. Progressive AE strictly prohibits unlawful discrimination against employees and applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, national origin, disability, age, qualified veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Applicants with a disability, who require a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process, may email for assistance. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis.  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

To search for an open position, please go to


Other Jobs Within Same Category
-- None found --

Other Jobs Within 60 Miles
Project Manager for Learning, Housing & Worship Markets in Grand Rapids, MI
Posted on: 8/21/2019
[Apply Now]

General Application in Grand Rapids, MI
Posted on: 3/8/2017
[Apply Now]

Architectural Project Manager for Civic & Community in Grand Rapids, MI
Posted on: 3/10/2020
[Apply Now]

Project Manager for Civic & Workplace in Grand Rapids, MI
Posted on: 8/21/2019
[Apply Now]

Project Manager for Healthcare & Senior Living in Grand Rapids, MI
Posted on: 3/10/2020
[Apply Now]


Click here for technical assistance.