Djakaridja earned his Bachelor's degree in Urban Policy and Planning at University of North Texas, and is currently attending University of Texas Arlington for a Master's degree in Public Administration. During his time at STIPDG he interned for the Wisconsin Division of Federal Highway Administration in Madison, WI. Djakaridja gained exposure to a range of transportation topics, from freight shipping to bridge building. He also received an offer for full-time employment with DOT following his STIPDG program.
Where did you intern, what department, what is their main purpose and how did you contribute to it?
I interned with the Federal Highway Administration Division Office in Madison, Wisconsin. During my summer internship I gained valuable experience by shadowing program managers in technical and planning meetings, attending training opportunities and participating in STIPDG professional development sessions. I learned about state and industry transportation partnerships, stewardship, oversight and laws, policies and guidance.
Tell us about a project, Field trip, PD session or networking interaction that took place during your internship that was the most impactful to you?
I had many great experiences during my internship program. I reviewed project documentation to ensure compliance with Title 23 legal code covering transportation. I participated in the National Summer Transportation Institute program and visited Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University for student activities. I attended the roundtable at Wisconsin DOT's Freight Advisory Committee, which advises on policies, processes and projects enhancing the reliability, safety, and efficiency of state, national and international freight movements.
I also participated in the construction field inspections of the Lone Rock bridges, replacing outdated truss bridges with new ones over the Wisconsin River. I attended the grand opening of the Agricultural Maritime Export Facility in Port Milwaukee, the largest one-time investment since the 1950s, generating $63 million in statewide economic impact annually.
I worked on a personal project on the closure and redevelopment of Loomis Road Park & Ride in Greenfield, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. The issue was challenging because federal funds were used to construct the park and ride. Through research, site visits, and discussions with Wisconsin DOT staff, I proposed a solution based on 23 federal regulations and received approval to close the case.
In what ways have you expanded your opportunities and/or narrowed down your desired career options during your time with TWC/DOT?
The DOT Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups (STIPDG) internship program provided valuable experience in real-world transportation issues in Wisconsin and across the United States. STIPDG helped me discover other opportunities like the pathways program students can use to work with Federal agencies while in school. I'm happy to share that I received an offer from the Federal Highway Administration Missouri Division Office through the Pathways program at the end Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups.
This internship helped me to build my network with Transportation professionals. I encouraged students with a passion for public transportation and public service to utilize this unique opportunity to achieve their goals.Djakaridja Bamba, DOT Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups (STIPDG)
How has this experience impacted your view on public service within the federal government?
This experience equipped me with the knowledge and skills needed to complete my Master of Public Administration degree and explore careers within Federal agencies. I realize the positive impact of the
Federal Highway Administration's work on our transportation system.
What advice do you have for students considering a federally funded internship with TWC?
This internship helped me to build my network with Transportation professionals. I encouraged students with a passion for public transportation and public service to utilize this unique opportunity to achieve their goals. I used this opportunity to realize my dream and get involved with real-life public issues. Those who never try anything will never get something.
Are you considering a career within the federal government or public service sector? Why or why not?
I'm considering a career within the Federal Government because I want to serve our country and impact our community through the transportation system. This internship opportunity reinforces my desire to join the federal government or public service sector because of the positive work experience and opportunity to grow I discovered during my program.
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