School: South Dakota State University
Major: Civil Engineering
Company: Ames Construction Inc.
Internship from May 9, 2016 — August 12, 2016
My name is Andrew Schrader and I am 22 years old from Jordan, Minnesota. I am currently attending South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota for Civil Engineering. Construction has always been interesting to me ever since I was young. While at school I worked for an excavation company and that decision encouraged me to further my personal development in construction. I chose to do an internship in construction because I felt it would help my progression of knowledge and usefulness in the construction industry.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
I achieved many things during the length of my internship. When I first started my internship I had very little exposure to the construction of bridges. This gave me a steep learning curve in terms of the language of materials and plans. I was expected to know these plans and be able to take measurements and order the correct materials when needed. By the time my internship ended all of this came very easy to me. I was able better relay information and knowledge between the project manager and foremen out in the field.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
This internship provided many positive insights for my life in the future. One of the most important lessons learned was the importance of public speaking and social interaction. Without success in these aspects it is hard to ensure that proper decisions are made in a positive manner and that good relationships are maintained with the owner and subcontractors. I have also learned the importance of cohesion throughout the company. From the estimators all the way to the laborers communication is key to the success and continuation of a project.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
Safety played a very important part on the job site, as it should everywhere. If an operation on the project was deemed unsafe it was not started. Once proper safety measures were taken, then it could begin. If an employee was seen performing work in an unsafe manner, they were stopped immediately for both their protection and everyone elses. Then it was explained why the work was unsafe and steps to take in order to perform their work without incident. The importance of safety has allowed me to be on the lookout at all times when I am on the job site. Everywhere I look I now make sure that there are no hazards within the work zone and if there are, that they are pointed out and noticed by the correct personnel.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I Build America means that I am not working to just make money. The projects that I help to complete have a meaning and purpose to help the people of the United States. It means I am helping the efficiency of transportation and making the world a better place one scoop of dirt at a time. Knowing that there is a purpose behind my work motivates me to come to work everyday and do my job to the best of my ability and enjoy every second of it.