Bronco Spotlight: Alex LaPorte

Photo of Alex LaPorte

Master of Science in geography, 2018

Current Job Title:

Transportation Planner 

Current Employer:

Michigan Department of Transportation 

Describe your current job:

This position has responsibility for developing, planning, and organizing activities related to the review and classification of the annual road and street certification of mileages for the State of Michigan. These duties are required by Michigan Public Act 51, of 1951, as amended. The work involves the review and verification of records associated with the 83 county transportation agencies in the state. This position is the main department contact for access and interpretation for how to establish the legal map and mileage requirements of the Act 51 law. One of the work area’s main function is to administer MDOT’s Act 51 Certification process. This position performs the key function of editing roads and boundaries and providing data to produce the maps necessary to complete the certification process to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of MTF (Michigan Transportation Funds) in accordance with Michigan Public Act 51 of 1951 and as amended. 

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I play a key role in the future of Michigan's transportation infrastructure. The most challenging aspect of my job is learning all the acronyms that are used throughout MDOT.  

Which of your skills had the biggest impact on your success? 

Determination. You have to be willing to go out of your comfort zone. You cannot simply graduate college and expect to be handed a rewarding, well-paying career. You have to make yourself stand out by doing what others won’t. Joining advisory boards and networking with professionals within the field I was interested in gave me the advantage I needed to be considered for positions such as mine.  

What advice do you have for students looking for their career after college?

You need to start looking for your career before you are out of college. You need to have a plan and figure out what kind of career you want and what that career field is looking for. Again, you need to make yourself stand out. There will be 100 other recent grads with the same degree as you have, so what is going to make a company choose you? 

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