School: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
Major: Construction Mangement
Company: OC Jones and Sons, INC
Internship from June 22, 2016 — September 9, 2016
I am a second year Construction Management student at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly). Every since I was in middle school, I would stare at construction projects as I drove by, watch home improvement TV and would love to tackle small projects at my house. However, no one in family had been in the industry or been even remotely close to construction. After thinking hard, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else than construction, so thats why I chose to study construction management. After hearing the importance and lessons you learn during an internship, I decided to pursue one. Towards the end of my freshman year, I found out that I had been selected to intern at O.C. Jones and Sons, INC in Berkeley, California. As a intern for OC Jones and Sons, I worked on the company’s biggest project. OC Jones was the general contractor for the AC Transit, East Bay Bus Rapid Transport project. The project was over 9 miles long and was worth $108 million dollars, stretching from Oakland to San Leandro.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
Coming in fresh after my first year at Cal Poly, I didn’t know to much about construction, but i did know broad concepts. The team I worked with knew my abilities, and my draw backs and worked me in to benefit the project and myself. From day one to my last day, I learned so much about construction and the industry. Since the project was so large, I was only a part of potholing for utilities. During that time though I worked with the Project Engineer with administration, requests for informations and working with the CM and Owner.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
This job was a high stress project, and effected everyone who worked on it. However, no matter how stressed someone left the office in the afternoon, the next morning they were eager to started, find solutions and continue the project. Something that I learned, and will affect my personal life, and soon my professional life is that no matter how stressful a task, operation or project may be, if you truly love what you are doing, you’re able to shake it off and perform to the best of your abilities. I saw this all the time this summer, and is now embedded into my mindset.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
During my time at OC Jones I took part in a few safety walks with our Risk Engineer. During those walks we would review workers safety, look for violations and discuss preventive measures we could take to reduce risks. Along those walks we would review the area in which the project was located. The area in Oakland was known for violence, so daytime work was only permitted. Since I was only with OC Jones for only the potholing of the project I wasn’t exposed to a whole lot of different phases, yet within potholing I did see quality work. Making sure pedestrians were safe was always number one, and sometimes even walking elders across crosswalks. Safety for everyone was the number one goal.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I Build America to me means giving people the means to change the world and the future. Providing the essentials to live and create change. Without our industry our world would fall apart. Future presidents and scientists wouldn’t be born in high tech hospitals, families wouldn’t get gas or water to their homes, CEOs couldn’t drive on unmaintained roads and freeways. No one, rich or poor, could advance the world we live in with the construction industry. In my mind it is what drives America to be so great and powerful, one of the main reasons why I am eager to start making my presence in the industry.