School: Oklahoma State University – Stillwater
Major: Construction Management Technology
Internship from May 23, 2016 — February 29, 2016
I am currently a Sophomore at Oklahoma State University – Stillwater majoring in Construction Management. Building things has always been my favorite things starting with duplos when I was very little to now helping build a Fraternity House. I chose to do my internship this summer with CMSWillowbrook working on the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity House after working on the project since November and going through a local labor outfit to work for them. I have seen the building start out as a hole in the ground to where it stands today at 50 foot tall. Since I have seen this project come as far as I have you could say that I am “attached” to the project and excited to see the completion of this amazing project. Prior to working for CMSWillowbrook I did not have a construction background however after learning about the job opportunities after I finish college it was the perfect match for me.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
As an Intern with CMSWillowbrook I was in charge of a variety of different things; from coordinating our weekly safety meeting, doing work that fell through our subcontractors’ scopes, as well as any other necessary site maintenance. Throughout working with CMSWillowbrook I have been given more and more responsibilities as I show that I can take care of the tasks previously given. My bosses have been thoroughly impressed that I am capable of the work that I have done considering I have never been on a construction site prior to November. When I first started working on the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity House (Pike) I always needed to ask my boss what needed to be done and he would give me a list. After I would complete that list I would go back and ask again what needed to be done and a number of times he had made the comment that it was a full time job just trying to keep me busy.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
In my internship I have learned many great things varying from how something goes together to the best ways to communicate with your crews in order to get the task done. One of the biggest things that affected me was in fact the communication with the different crews. At first I had a hard time trying to communicate with some of the workers but as I worked with them more it allowed me to better understand their accents as well as figuring out the things some guys were trying to say. Another great thing about my internship is it furthered my learning from in the classroom. I always explain this by saying that I learned this, this, and this in the classroom (using my hands and including clear gaps) but after working on the job site it has filled in any of the blanks that weren’t covered in class or things that I didn’t fully understand.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
After a few weeks of working with CMSWillowbrook I started taking over the weekly toolbox talk(safety talk) as well as completing our weekly safety report. As time went on and I started to cover more and more topics for our safety talk the more I learned about the way things were supposed to happen. This allowed me to start watching what was going on throughout the site and be able to take care of any unsafe situations without having to first ask my boss to make sure I wasn’t getting onto anyone that didn’t need to correct anything. I have also been part of the quality control side of the construction a little bit. One of the big things that I would check is that form materials were fully removed from the walls and that the control joints in the slab were relatively cleanly cut. A few other miscellaneous things that I would watch was some of the steel erection, plumbing, and framing.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I Build America to me is a group in which helps to show that everything around us is a product of Construction. Things like roads, our houses, public sanitation and all of the other things that make our lives better and easier. I would agree with the IBA that there is a sense of pride when you are a part of a project and see it move further and further along. I have felt that way after working on the Pike House for as long as I have because I have been on it for 9 months I would like to be able to see the project through completion. I also understand the sense of camaraderie when working with the trades out in the field and because I will go out and help them when I have the time to be able to. Most of the guys treat me with great respect and are also willing to do anything because they know I will return the favor.