School: Delaware Technical Community College
Major: Civil Engineering and Construction Management
Company: Corrado Construction Company
Internship from June 16, 2014 — September 15, 2016
My name is Brandon Roth, and I have been incredibly fortunate to be able to work with Corrado Construction Company since the end of my junior year of high school back in June 2014 as a co-op student. I began working as a field surveyor for the purpose of gaining field experience before they took me inside to learn even more once I had graduated from high school. There I took the role of an intern, learning about every side of the company so that I had a better idea of what side of construction was best suited for me. Now, not only have I continued my internship with Corrado, but I also have been attending classes at Delaware Tech, and will transfer to the University of Delaware in about 2 years to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering and Construction Management.
When I was figuring out where my co-op for high school would be, construction was the one area I wanted to avoid, mainly because I had believed that it was only about dirt work and getting dirty; however, my engineering advisor prompted me to try working for Corrado for the experience, and soon I learned that there are more fields within the field of construction other than working with dirt. The estimating and marketing areas were the two areas that I had found that I enjoyed the most, and they are the parts of construction that I will be able to follow and learn more about, beyond what my company is able to teach me. During my time here, Corrado was awarded several large projects and has expanded its territory even further than before. A large reason for this is due to the opening of an additional downstate office, which I was fortunate enough to be able to be a part of assisting with. Additionally, I have learned so much about HeavyBid as our company continues to transition into using it for a primary source of estimating.
After I graduated from high school, Corrado Construction has decided to keep me on their team of employees in order to progressively teach me more while I am taking classes in college. I am very grateful to this company for teaching me several things I haven’t learned before, and giving me a new outlook on the construction career area.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
When working with Corrado, I received much better results than I had originally thought possible. Not only did I exceed my company’s expectations, I had exceeded my own expectations by excelling in the field, when it was so out of my comfort zone.
Upon joining Corrado’s team of employees, I was put in the position of surveying. Based on my personality and my body’s build, they knew that I was not made to be working in the field at all, in fact a few co-workers didn’t think that I would last a month. However, I learned how to adapt to the situation, and worked in the field until they brought me inside over a year later. During my time in the field I not only developed confidence from achieving on my own goals, but also a much better work ethic, not to mention a nice farmer’s tan. Upon moving inside I was able to excel further than everyone else had expected. Using my previous knowledge in CAD from high school, I was able to easily learn a program called AGTEK, and I rapidly learned how to use HCSS programs such as HeavyBid and HeavyJob. In these programs, I picked up on many things that a few of the project managers and estimators had yet to learn about after working with it for a few years now. Because of this, I have gained a lot more respect from my co-workers compared to what they had thought of me beforehand: some college kid that they had to train.. Above all else, I have impressed this company with the more than exceptional job that I have done with each of the variety of tasks I have been given for each of our departments, whether it be a contract work for project management using the AIA software, or using AGTEK and Bluebeam for takeoff for estimating.
Today I still continue to learn more from Corrado, and do everything I can to surpass the expectations that my company has for me, in order to make myself a useful asset as the company moves forward.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
Throughout this internship, I have learned several things, about myself, and other skills that will help me throughout my life. Not only will these things affect my personal life, but also my future in the work-force with all new skills that you can only receive through an internship in the field of construction.
Personally, I have found a new interest in photography. While working with Corrado, some of my time was spent working with marketing taking photos and drone videos. I believe my field experience and safety training was beneficial to the marketing because I generally understood what was going on in the field. I have learned that I am pretty skilled with a camera, and that I do thoroughly enjoy it. Of course, my company can see this, and takes me out to the jobs more often when it is time to take photos for the website, allowing me to gain even more field experience. On top of that, because of the generous amount of positive feedback they have given me, I have had a very large boost of confidence that can only benefit me in the years to come. When starting out this internship, I was a rather shy person. After all, it was my first time joining any sort of work-force. However, when I realized that I was doing a good job, it pushed me to do better, which allowed my confidence to rise further. On top of that, I have learned several skills that only a construction internship could provide such as proficiency in CAD programs and management skills for creating and completing jobs.
After my few years here, I have only benefited from what Corrado has taught me, and to this date, I still continue to learn new things everyday from them. I can guarantee that I will benefit from the skills that this company has taught me in the future.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
While working with Corrado, I was not directly involved with the safety department. However, during my first week, I was in safety training in order to know the basics of how to act while in the field. This experience taught me to take construction seriously. Before I began this internship, I had thought of construction as all dirt work and nothing else, but through the initial training, I was able to see that it was more than that, I needed to learn much more about this field before I start assuming things about construction that I shouldn’t.
Despite not having involvement in safety, I was indirectly involved in quality control. I assisted our Project Engineer in preparing Field Binders with all costing, production and contract documents. I learned that it is critical that the field have all of this information easily at their fingertips. Having grown up in a construction family, I thought I knew what earthwork was all about. It looked like hard, dirty work. I know understand that there is much more to the business. I am starting to understand the detailed knowledge needed in estimating and hard work of understanding each projects scope and contract required of Project Management. The field work is much more technical than I thought, with the use of HCSS, AGTEK, and GPS in the field. I certainly have a better understanding now, and greater respect for all of the aspects of this business.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I Build America is about providing support for the people and companies of the construction workforce. This organization is about not only supporting the companies of construction, but also the people, and as a result, putting pride in the people that work to create all of the highways, commercial structures, and the residential structures that we all call home. Additionally, the organization is about getting out what the field of construction does out to the general public so that they understand what it truly means to work in construction.
Nowadays, the general public tends to take people who work in the field of construction for granted. I Build America is doing everything they can in order to make workers feel appreciated. Most people don’t see it the same way that we do, mainly because they have never experienced the entire process from the start to the finish. Another thing that people don’t understand are the benefits of construction when it comes to basic infrastructure. For example, if people were to imagine what the quality of life would be like without the roads and utilities that construction companies provide to the general public, they would see construction in a different way. That is one of the goals of I Build America, to give workers and companies the pride and respect that they deserve for their hard work.
So what does I Build America mean to me? It means respect for the people and companies of construction, and putting pride within them, because at the end of the day, that is what they deserve for doing the work that will provide services of all kinds to people everyday.