School: San Jost State University
Major: Civil Engineering
Internship from May 25, 2016 —
I am a senior Civil Engineering student at San Jose State University. Up until my Junior year in school I was not sure exactly what I would do with my degree. One of my classmates introduced me to the ASC competition and encouraged me to participate. From this I was able to get an offer for an internship with Graniterock. I was very excited for this new opportunity. I have always worked throughout my schooling to minimize the amount of loans I accrue, and because I have a 2 year old daughter to provide for. For these reasons I have had two minimum wage part time jobs for the past couple of years. When I was offered this internship it allowed me to have only one job, which in turn has created more time for my family and to be able to focus on school. This internship has truly been a blessing to my family because I was also able to get my wife hired on with Graniterock as an accounts payable specialist. This past year has been a whirlwind of activity for me, I am very happy in the construction industry. With my passion and strong work ethic I know that I will be a successful and productive member in construction for many years to come.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
During my internship I was able to learn from my mentors in the office regarding an engineers responsibilities on a daily basis. I was also able to learn on the field how a job is actually built and the type of preparation and manpower necessary for a multi-million dollar project. Having had a design internship in the past, I was exposed to plans, but there is no experience like seeing a jobs completion. The sense of pride and satisfaction is hard to put into words. I believe that I exceeded Graniterock’s expectations, because I have always been willing to put in whatever work necessary and find a way to solve problems that arise throughout a project’s life. Overall this internship has given me confidence and growth that I might not have achieved elsewhere.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
As most interns learn, it is easy to make mistakes. From these experiences I have learned the importance of working as a team. It is important to ask for help if you are not sure of something. Just like you would like help at times, it is also necessary to be ready to help others if needed. Besides helping others who can or have helped you, it is equally important to help others who might not be able to help you. For example, the community around you, workers out on the field, or a younger student who might need a sense of direction or advice to help them in the right direction like my friend once did for me. Being part of the construction industry is an opportunity to help others without expecting anything in return. This in turn will help make you a better person individually but will help construction professionals for many years to come.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
For my summer long internship I have only been on a couple projects, but I have made it a point to keep safety at the top of the priority list. Our company motto is safety before all else. From making sure the laborers have enough water, to making sure our closures are properly set up. Safety is something that should be thought about on a daily even hourly basis. I made it a point to make sure all of our men on the field had a safety meetings at the beginning of each work day. There were times where taking a shortcut could be faster although less safe, in my eyes this is not even an option to think about because at the end of the day these people want to go home to their families. If we don’t take care of our own people nobody will. The employers who put the safety of the public and their workers first will be more successful because everyone will want to work there. I am happy to have an internship who takes safety this seriously because at some point it could be my life in the balance and i want to know that i will have somebody looking out for me.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com , I was very excited to see what plans our in motion for the construction industry. All of the values such as safety, pride, giving back to the community are addressed. All of these values align with mine , and I’m sure many other people in construction. These types of advancements will continue to push the development of men and women, who will take us into a new era of construction.