School: California State University Chico
Major: Construction Management
Company: Independent Construction
Internship from June 1, 2016 — August 19, 2016
I have grown up in a construction family, some of my earliest memories are of sitting on my grandpa’s lap while he operated a motor grader. When I was 12 I started operating the company backhoe on little jobs around my parents house or grandparents property and since I turned 15 and was able to legally work I have been running heavy civil equipment for the family business during every break in the school ever since.
I chose to do an internship with Independent Construction because I wanted to see how another company operates. For the most part, my families business is just my father, my grandpa and myself with an employee or two when we need an extra hand so I wanted to learn as much as I could about how a company that does the same kind of work but on a much larger scale is able to complete the job.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
During this internship with Independent Construction I achieved much more than I had ever expected.
– I put together proposals and bids with the estimator in the main office using Heavy Bid software.
– Completed daily cost analysis to calculate our cost per yard and learned how to adjust the way the job was getting done to get our desired profit.
– Sat in on meeting with developers and engineered and was able to take part by pointing out discrepancies that my project manager and I had found in the plans.
– Asked for submittal information from suppliers and turned in the submittal for approval before ordering it myself.
– Priced out change orders and sent them in to the developer.
– Learned how to find conflicting or missing information in the plans and was able to put together an RFI that was easy to understand.
I exceeded the company’s expectations of me because I had more experience in the field than any other intern they have previously had. The foremen and superintendents were impressed with me because I was able to help them lay out a plan for building a keyway or road because I had experience running equipment and knew what each piece was capable of doing.
It also seemed like no one I was working with had to tell people outside the company that I was intern, I was able to compose myself in a way that made everyone think I was another Project Engineer.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
Coming into this internship I didn’t think that they were going to much as much on my shoulders as they did. The first day they put me right into it, I was doing take offs by hand and calling suppliers in the area for the price and placing the order. When I worked in the office the senior estimator had me putting together proposals to send to developers for jobs upwards of 25 million dollars.
This internship taught me that I can handle a lot more pressure than I thought. I was nervous coming in because I had never had a job that had that much riding on it, but I was able to stay calm, ask questions when I needed to and have a positive end result.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
Independent Construction had a whole team of safety people that seemed to work fairly independently from upper management, so I wasn’t very involved with that aspect.
I was however very involved with quality. Often times I was sent out to go talk with the geotechnical engineers to make sure that we were passing compaction tests, and if we weren’t I would tell the Superintendent and together we could up with a plan to improve.
One of our jobs was to install a 18’x400′ steel culvert under a large road in Dublin, CA. One of my jobs was to go down and talk to the sub-contractor we had installing it and see if he was putting it together in accordance with the specifications. Often times I would bring down the engineered plans and put out to the foreman how the engineers wanted it to be built. This sub assumed I was Project Engineer, which is why I think I was able to get away with telling him how to his job.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
Construction has been a part a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. It has always been a passion of mine and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else, I lot of people ask me why I never complained about waking at 6 AM every day during summer vacation and I never understood why. I get to wake up every morning and build something that will probably be standing long after I’m gone. Turning a bare piece of land into a useable structure that I can be proud of is a feeling that has no equal.
I Build America is exactly what this industry needs. I have been very pleased with how many people I see getting into construction since I started the Construction Management program at Chico State and would love to see that number continue to grow.
I have also found that a lot of people I meet have no idea what goes into building the homes they live in or they buildings they work in. I Build America is a place that looks to educate more people on the difficulties and rewards construction brings so they can better appreciate it what men and women in the industry go through day in and day out to make life better for our country.