School: Texas A&M University
Major: Construction Science
Company: Bartlett Cocke General Contractors
Internship from 1/5/15 — 8/7/15
I worked on a new high school for Judson ISD in north east San Antonio. This project is a 52 million dollar, 2 year project. This project was at about the 7 month mark when I arrived and I worked on it for about 7 months as well. When I arrived they were getting ready to pour the last elevated slab for the second floor. By the time I left the roof was 100% dried in, the building was enclosed, store front doors and windows were going in, and about a third of the building was already sheet rocked and painted. I arrived at a perfect time to be exposed to a large portion of construction methods that are used, and it was a wonderful experience.
What results did you achieve on the project(s), and what impact did they have on the company?
On this project I wrote over 100 RFIs, and posted hundreds of documents to our as built drawings. In addition, even though the project is nearly a year away from completion I was able to collect a lot of warranties, O&M manuals, and asbestos free affidavits from our subcontractors and suppliers. While these things did not have a huge impact on the company as a whole, I believe that every little part is important to keep the whole machine running. On the job level this will allow the project manager to have more time to focus on the punch list at the end of the project since most of the closeout documents are already logged for him.
What real-life technical or business skills did you learn during the internship?
I gained a large amount of skills throughout this internship. I learned how to write RFIs, and change orders. I learned to post documents, and how to keep up good logs. I learned about the closeout process, and what all was required from our subcontractors. However, I think the most important thing that I learned during this internship was simply how to deal with people. Through observing the project manager and the superintendent and how they interacted with people I was able to learn the proper way to handle situations, and how to communicate ideas effectively.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
I think the most important thing I learned is perspective. During a portion of my internship I was put into the field with the superintendents. For the majority of this time I was assisting the carpenters in constructing form work for some of our site concrete pours. I did jobs ranging from pumping water out of a pond to cutting sheets of plywood to build walls. I tied rebar and rubbed concrete and even dug ditches. All of this may have not shown me what a superintendent does, but it gave me a great deal of perspective for what the guys working under the superintendent do. I think this will help me to be a great superintendent when I graduate because I will understand how much work goes in to some of the things we do and I won’t have unreasonable expectations for the guys working under me.
Where do you think technology will make the biggest impact in construction in the next few years, and how will it do that?
I think that 3D modeling is where the biggest impact is going to come in the next few years for construction. I think if 3D models were to be integrated with estimating it could not only help to provide a more accurate estimate, but could also reduce the mass amount of wast that is prevalent in the construction industry today. I think there should be more time spent on the 3D model and the people that are designing these models should assign a specific material to the objects they were putting into the model. Then you could have the model output a quantity takeoff for all of the materials that are to be used on the project. This would leave only the fine details for the estimators to have to pick up. That would result in much better takeoffs and a lot more accurate bids.