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Professional Development Program


Alex Appel, ITS/Integration Community Planner

Photograph of Alex Appel Following my 2009 graduation from the State University of New York at Albany with a Master's Degree in Regional Planning, I became a Professional Development Program (PDP) participant. During my two years on the PDP while based out of the FHWA New York Division Office, I contributed to numerous projects in the Division and also had the opportunity to get hands-on experience with true “best practice” transportation agencies during three long term developmental assignments. At the conclusion of the PDP, I was placed in FHWA's New York City Metropolitan Office, within which I've concentrated on highway operations, Intelligent Transportation Systems, and transportation planning.

The PDP presented an unparalleled opportunity to develop my professional skills in a learning-friendly environment. During my two-year PDP experience, I was able to travel the country, manage a budget, perform meaningful work, begin understanding a complex program, and, perhaps most importantly, develop a professional network that remains strong to this day.

Janaye Coggins, Hydraulics Engineer

Photograph of Janaye Coggins The Professional Development program provided me with great opportunities, invaluable experience, and ample trainings that definitely will help me with my future endeavors. I was a Pilot PDP sponsored by Eastern Federal Lands, so I was able to spend time getting much needed technical experience in both construction and highway design. I was really able to put my Civil Engineering degree to use! I have been permanently placed in Eastern Federal Lands in the hydraulics section and I love it! I am able to use so many of the skills I have learned over the past two years; both technical and personal. I truly believe that being a participant in the PDP program has been a direct component to my success today. Through traveling and interacting with all types of people and personalities to broadening my skill sets, the PDP program was a great way to start a promising career!

Mack Frost, Planning and Environmental Specialist

Mack Frost The FHWA Professional Development Program has been an opportunity of a lifetime. FHWA takes pride in developing its corporate capacity through training and developmental assignments for PDP's. I have had the chance to travel within multiple division offices within FHWA as well as State Department of Transportations. The program has also given me opportunities to have external developmental assignments at agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I have gained many new relationships across disciplines as a result of the developmental assignments.

During the past two years while in the PDP, I have been very grateful to have been involved with FHWA and the PDP. I have broadened my communication skills which will assist me when interacting with State DOT's, other federal agencies, and various stakeholders. Through the PDP I have also fostered relationships with PDP peers that will assist my development throughout my career at FHWA. I am very much looking forward to an overall successful career at FHWA.

Chun Guo, Transportation Finance Specialist

Photograph of Chun Guo I joined FHWA Michigan Division as a Student Aid in April 2009. I received my Bachelor's Degrees from Michigan State University in May 2009 with two majors, General Management and East Asian Language and Culture. I also earned a specialization in International Business. After my graduation, I joined the Administrative Team in the Michigan Division. For the year I worked on the Administrative Team, I gained experience in the areas of Fund Authority, Budget Reconciliation, Purchase Order, Credit Cards & Convenience Checks, Travel Related Transactions, Collections, Property Inventory and Internal Control.

In July 2010, I joined the Finance Team in the Michigan Division and was accepted by the Professional Development Program. In the two years, I attended various training, courses and assignments. I completed the program in the summer of 2012. The Professional Development Program provided me with many opportunities to improve my technical, communication and interpersonal skills. And, I met some great people during the program. I strongly encourage eligible individuals to apply.

Lindsey Svendsen, Realty Specialist

Photograph of Michael Morris I started my career with FHWA as a STIPDG intern and transitioned to the PDP after completing graduate school. As a PDP participant specializing in Right of Way I was exposed to the Federal-Aid program from many perspectives by working with Federal, State and local agencies. The best part of the PDP was having a great mentor that helped me get the right training and allowed me the flexibility to set the path I wanted for my development. I had the opportunity to travel to 10 states where I received on the job training and learned from experienced FHWA professionals in various disciplines. My experience with the PDP was challenging, fast paced and worthwhile.


Page last modified on October 24, 2012.
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