Career Connections


Allison Tikalsky

Major: Kinesiology and Health


Minor/option/emphasis: KIN-Community and Public Health

Year: Senior
Hometown/State: New Prague, MN

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Iowa Department of Transportation
Company/Organization website: http://www.iowadot.gov/index.html#/services
Title: Health and Safety Wellness Intern
Destination: Ames, IA
Timeframe: May 2015-May 2016

Advisor/Coordinator Email: dpower@iastate.edu

I was responsible for...
As the Health and Safety Wellness Intern at the Iowa DOT, I oversaw the DOT Wellness Program and also served as a Workers' Compensation Coordinator. I created and implemented multiple worksite wellness initiatives to help DOT Employees live a healthier lifestyle. I also coordinated several speakers to attend "Wellness Webinars" to speak on a healthy topic for employees. As a Workers' Compensation Coordinator, I managed the First Report of Injury, the Return to Work Program, and assisted with other day-to-day tasks.

I accomplished...
Some of the bigger accomplishments that I had while working with the Iowa DOT include creating an Ergonomics Guidebook for all employees, an office and field stretching program, implementing a Wellness Team budget, organizing a "Walk Across the United States" physical activity health initiative, and many more!

My most valuable effort...
The most valuable project that I worked on was the Ergonomics Guidebook. I created this to go into our Supervisor Handbook. This will now be used to help employees be more aware of their workstations to help prevent Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) as much as possible. I also assisted with Ergonomics Assessments for office employees to help set up their workstation to their body!

I learned...
I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council through the Department of Transportation and was able to attend their Professional Development Expo. This was a very valuable learning experience because I was able to bring back information that I had learned to the DOT to help our Safety Program!

I will never forget...
The most memorable experience that I have had at this internship was being able to attend the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council's Professional Development Expo with a few of the Iowa DOT's Health and Safety Team Members.

A surprising discovery...
I was not expecting the amount of experience that I was going to get at the Iowa DOT. At first, I was overwhelmed with the amount of assignments and programs that I began to work with, but eventually grew into it! From now on, I will always expect to "hit the ground running" when it comes to starting a new job.

Advice for others...
Be grateful for any opportunity that an employer may give you! The experience that you get at an internship is critical before you get into your profession and can always be applied.

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I heard about this career-related opportunity through a classmate.

I landed this assignment by...
I applied online and was sent a questionnaire. I spent multiple hours filling out the questionnaire and perfecting it. After that, I was asked to come in for an interview. I then interviewed and was offered the position two hours later.

I wanted this experience because...
I wanted this internship for the professional experience to be able to put on my resume before graduation and job searching. I wanted to get "real life" experience in a career field that I was interested in and to also build a skill set that could be versatile for other career opportunities. I also am required to have an internship for the Community and Public Health option within Kinesiology and this internship just so happened to count!

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