School: North Dakota State University
Major: Construction Engineering
Company: Ames Construction
Internship from May 16, 2016 — August 19, 2016
Choosing an internship in the construction industry was an easy decision for me. I have known all of my life that construction would be the right field for me. However, deciding which path to take within the industry was the most difficult part. I started off young with the passion for constructing anything and everything I possibly could. My father and I remodeled our house when I was in middle school and by the time I graduated high school, I had built my very own fish house. This was my first great accomplishment. After high school, I went right into Heavy/Civil construction laboring and getting on equipment any chance I could. When my second season rolled around, I was operating every day. I was happy and enjoyed the work, but I also wanted something more. I decided to go to school that next year, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering, which led me to my internship with Ames Construction. I am a firm believer in working hard and giving one hundred percent in everything that I do, which is another reason I chose an Internship with Ames Construction as I knew they would have the ability to challenge me each and every day while broadening my knowledge and experience in the Industry.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
While Interning with Ames Construction, I learned an incredible amount. Coming in, I was new to the office atmosphere, but I was directed by knowledgeable individuals who helped me get my bearings straight. This was the biggest change for me; I had been in the field for my first few years of construction experience. Each day I gained new responsibilities and took charge in time management and productivity. I improved my scheduling abilities as well as problem solving skills. Along with quantity and budget tracking, I worked with the engineers to solve issues that would come up in the field. By the end of my internship, I was able to do nearly everything that our Project Engineers do on a daily basis. I exceeded the expectations by doing everything to the best of my ability and working hard. I showed them that I am not afraid to get dirty, work hard, or learn something. The last week of my internship, I took over for a Project Engineer as he was going on vacation. After fluently doing his job for a week, I was reassured of all that I had learned throughout the summer, while showing my supervisor that I have the ability to learn quickly and get things done productively.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
I was fortunate enough to learn about personalities and attitudes on top of a good construction education experience. Everyone talked and treated others like family which set a great example for me. The happier and more “Down to Earth” you are, the more you can help others keep their attitudes up and in good shape. When everyone has a good attitude, the production generally goes up with a lot more efficiency, as well as everyone has a better, less stressful day. One of our Grade Forman actually complimented me on my attitude before he told me, “Half of having a successful crew is each individual’s experience, and the other half is their attitude.” Whether or not that statement is one hundred percent true, I do agree with attitude having a significant impact on our everyday lives. In the end, I learned to make an attempt at being a happy outgoing person in order to influence others keep their head up along with their attitudes. Having this positive attitude will help me out in many ways; it does not only apply in the construction field, but to everyday life and nearly any profession.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
During the middle of the summer, our safety engineer was transferred to a different job. We have a mandatory safety orientation for all new hires and anyone who has been off for thirty days or more. With that said, I was assigned all safety orientations. I took pride in going through our safety requirements and the importance of wearing PPE at all times. I never forgot to review competent persons and safe trenches along with fall arrest equipment requirements. I was in the field one day working with one of our Tractor & Pan spreads and when we stopped for lunch break, one of the operators asked me what my job really was; he explained how confused he was because he seen me doing such a wide variety of things from solving problems with the engineers to safety orientations to operating equipment. It made me realize how much I really had learned while incorporating safety throughout my everyday actions.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I build America seems like a great way to let it be know that we are in the construction industry and are proud of it. It is a smart way to gain respect for those that are not in the industry as well as attract others who may be interested. Also, I like the name in general. It makes me feel like a productive member of society, reminding me of what we are actually doing. It is a great way to reach out to younger kids with promotional items to get them interested in the construction industry and the new technology that is benefiting us each and every day.