School: Michigan State University
Major: Construction Management
Company: The Christman Company
Internship from May 9, 2016 — August 19, 2016
My name is Brandon Homola and I am 32 years old. I have been working in the construction industry for sixteen years building houses and pipe-fitting for a short stint. I went back to school 3 years ago in hopes of attaining my bachelors degree in construction management. I enjoy working with the tools but just felt that I could potentially do so much more. I currently am set to graduate in the fall of 2017 and am finishing up an internship with Christman construction in East Lansing, Mi. I chose to do an internship in construction because that’s what I love to do. I am constantly working on someones house even though I work fifty hours a week as an intern and am taking classes through the summer. I guess you could say it is like a hobby for me and what better hobby to have than what you do for a living.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
I went into the internship thinking I knew everything. Boy was I quickly humbled. The commercial end of construction is much more demanding and intense than the residential side of things. I feel as though I stood up to the test and did what I needed to do to get the job done. I worked as an assistant project engineer and assisted all four of the guys that were in our field office. I worked on submittals, RFI’s, created a work to complete punch-list, and helped the superintendent with his daily task’s. Although I have a vast background in construction, I learned a lot of invaluable knowledge from the Christman team.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
I learned that you can’t please everybody. When you are out on the job site decisions have to be made about what task is more important and may cause the schedule to veer off track. The critical path needs to be followed. Some trades get upset because they feel as though they need to be working in a certain area, when in fact they don’t need to be. What I learned is that you need to stick to your guns and stand your ground when out on site dealing with the trades.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
I was in charge of the work to complete punch-list that we did to finish up the parking deck portion of our project. I walked through the whole deck and documented things that needed to be finished or fixed to do poor workmanship. I also was involved in the safety aspect of the job. I would have to do safety audits of the company and make sure that they had submitted all of their company safety manuals, as well as, made sure the workers had been properly drug tested. We also had to put the tradesmen through a safety orientation prior to their first day of work and many times I would handle those duties.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I Build America means to appreciate all of the infrastructures and buildings that surround us because the construction industry has made that happen throughout the years. It means to thank the men and women that have built America throughout the years with their blood, sweat, and for some their lives.