School: Texas Tech University
Major: Civil Engineering
Company: Thalle Construction
Internship from May 16, 2016 — August 11, 2016
My name is Corey Murray and I am 20 years old. I will be attending Texas Tech in the fall of 2016 as a Junior. I am enrolled in the Civil Engineering program. I was born in Houston, Texas but at the age of 3 moved to Mansfield, Texas and graduated from Mansfield Legacy High School in 2014 with honors. During high school I played both football and baseball. I was awarded First Team All-District Tight End my senior year and I was Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in baseball my junior and senior year, respectively. I was also Academic All-State my senior year. For the previous two years I have been playing baseball at the Jr. College level, and most recently for the Paris JC Dragons. I obtained my Associates degree in the Spring of this year. In my spare time I enjoy fishing, bird hunting, deer hunting and golfing. I spend time during the week working out to stay in shape. Although I have always led a busy life, I have maintained high grades and made the Dean’s list for two of the last four semesters in college. I am also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. I recently became a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, Texas Tech Chapter. Now that my basic courses are completed, I am looking forward to pursuing my degree in engineering.
There are many reason why I chose to do an internship for a construction company. One of the main reasons for choosing this type of internship was to experience the construction industry with a company that does work similar to the civil engineering field. This would be a first-hand opportunity to see if this is what I really want to do in the future. My grandfather was also a civil engineer and worked for the Texas Highway Department for many years before joining a construction company. This also influenced my decision to pursue an internship in construction.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
I began work at Thalle Construction Company in May of 2016, just a few days after moving home for the summer. I had never had a regular job before due to rigorous summer baseball schedule that I have had since starting high school. I had no idea what to expect from this job or from myself. I, of course, had a lot to learn about the company and what they specialized in. After learning about safety, reading a specification book, learning to use the company’s computer system, and learning to fly the company drone, I hit the ground running.
Our office was short-handed and they needed someone who could step in and help immediately. I was given the responsibility for dealing with subcontractors and vendors in order to purchase products for our construction jobs. I had to be knowledgeable about our job site and learn to deal with these people in a professional manner. After a short time on the job, I was given more duties and less supervision. Throughout my internship this summer, the team that I worked with complimented my job and gave me additional responsibilities. I was also given an entire job proposal to compile on my own. From the beginning of obtaining bids to the end where I presented the bid for approval. It was a great experience to do that proposal myself.
The company was not ready for me to leave when it was time to move to Lubbock and begin the fall semester. They expressed a desire for me to return next summer to continue with the company and have offered me an increase in pay when I do return.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
While working for Thalle Construction I learned much more than I ever expected to learn. Including things such as detailed safety issues all the way to how a construction job bid is won. On my first day working for Thalle Construction I learned how to read a specification book for a job we had recently won. I had to learn all the significant details that are entailed in a specification book that the contractor is to provide. In addition, I learned how to read a set of plans and how to integrate the information to what we needed in order to complete the job.
I learned how to professionally deal with to subcontractors and vendors on the phone so that we as a company could purchase the products we needed to complete the project. During my time working for Thalle construction this summer I built lasting relationships with vendors and subcontractors. This allowed me to receive the quotes for all projects we were interested in bidding.
I also had the opportunity to learn the process of building a job as every day I went to work and was on the job site. I had a first hand experience of implementing the quotes I had received and seeing how the products were actually used at the work site itself.
All the things I learned while working this summer for Thalle Construction will help me in the future at any company I work for. However, I plan to continue working with Thalle Construction in the future if possible. In addition, many things that I learned during this internship will help me in my academic studies as I will now know, first hand, how real world construction will apply to my major as civil engineer.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
On my first day of work with Thalle construction I had no idea what to except in the aspect of construction safety, but that all changed when I drove up to the work site. My first assignment as an intern for Thalle Construction was to go through the safety protocol. I learned that because construction can be a dangerous job there are safety protocols for everything involved with the job. I was told about the OSHA safety regulations. I was provided with a hard hat, a neon yellow safety vest, three safety glasses, a pair of work gloves, and was told to wear steel toe boots and blue jeans everyday to work to ensure that I would be protected. Whenever I was outside of the fenced area that was surrounding our office trailer it was mandatory that I had to put on my safety glasses, my hard hat and my reflective safety vest as well as the blue jeans and steel toe boots that I had already had on for safety purposes.
While working for Thalle I learned that all of the equipment that we owned or rented had to be certified and approved by the safety regulations guidelines set by OSHA. I also learned that the field laborers could only work for a certain number of hours per week. In addition, the company had to provide them with plenty of water as well as necessary breaks from the extreme summer heat.
I now appreciate the safety regulations that are in place to protect everyone on the job site. Before, I did not realize all of the dangers involved on the job site, but now I see the importance of following the safety guidelines.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
“I Build America” displays the importance of construction to our way of life. As the video states, construction brings us the water we drink, the roads we drive on, and the homes we live in. It is easy to take this stuff for granted when others are doing the work on the job site to develop these necessities of life. Since the beginning of time, construction has been a part of life. People had to find shelter and food. Without constructing instruments and tools, they would not have had the basic necessities of life. Our country would not continue to progress without construction.
I feel very proud to be a part of the construction industry today. It gives me great pleasure to see projects progress from the beginning to the finished stage. A sense of accomplishment is achieved when the construction project is completed. More importantly, I now know the importance of construction and how it is tied to all aspects of life.