School: The University of Alabama
Major: Civil Engineering
Company: Robins & Morton
Internship from May 25, 2016 — August 5, 2016
My name is Hunter Picklesimer and I am a senior at the University of Alabama. I am pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering with a minor in Environmental Engineering. My decision to do an internship in the field of construction came from my passion to see a project start from the ground and develop into a finished product. I enjoy working hands on and putting in long hours in order to meet a project goal. Construction allows me to experience these things by showing me the process and phases of a project and gives me the opportunity to develop as a young engineer. I am goal oriented and desire to be the best at what I do. Construction provides many opportunities to step up and be a leader in order to allow work to be performed as smoothly as possible, as well as efficient in terms of time and cost. My decision to do an internship helped me grow as a young professional and experience first hand the field of construction.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
As an intern, I did not want to be considered as just a title. I have the personality and work ethic that allows me to strive to be the best at what I do. I do not intend to fall into the crowd and not be responsible for key aspects of a project. I believe that I made an impact on the project’s progression during my time as an intern that allowed our project team to work together smoothly and get things done that needed to be done. After a couple of weeks of being on site at my internship in Oxford, MS, I was given responsibility of performing in-wall checks and formulating punch lists to distribute to subcontractors. By doing this task effectively and in a timely manner I allowed the floor foreman to better perform their job. I exceeded the request of helping with punch lists and was given responsibility to not only check to make sure things had been roughed-in according to the drawings and specs, but also to maintain a working relationship with subs to ensure that the punch items were completed. This task is one example of exceeding expectations of the role that I was given. By showing that I can handle the task given to me, I was then given greater responsibility and showed leadership in the way that I performed my job.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
Aside from learning many facets of the construction industry and the process it takes to get a job completed, I gained one thing that will contribute greatly to my success in the future. Being on a jobsite requires good communication between members of a project and is vital to success. Through my internship I learned how to effectively communicate with members of my team as the general contractor, as well as subcontractors, suppliers, and owners of the project. All of the above are working toward the one goal, which is completion of the project on time and in a way that provides the company success financially. My ability to communicate effectively with all members of the project allows for smoother collaboration and in result allows for the project to avoid mishaps and barriers that affect progression. It is important that issues are brought up when recognized, so that members of different trades are not help up by another. My ability to talk with the subs and maintain a working relationship with each helps to cut out issues due to lack of communication. On the jobsite it is vital that communication be implemented effectively, but it is also a personal trait that I believe will allow me to be successful in all aspects of my life in the future.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
My role in safety during my internship allowed me to see the importance of a safe project, as well as improve my recognition for problems that may occur. Safety is one of the most important parts of a project because it affects so many people. Everyone works for some reason, whether it is to provide for a family at home, get a child through school, or just to have the money to enjoy life. In order to continue to provide for these things it is important that everyone on the jobsite makes it home at the end of the day safely. As an intern I was given responsibility to set an example myself as a safe worker and to make sure that I address safety issues when I see them. Working alongside the safety manager on site, I was exposed to many safety concerns that were addressed and taken care of before the opportunity of someone getting hurt presented itself. It is important to think ahead when dealing with safety in order to prevent accidents and lower the chances of them occurring. It is each persons job to not only be a safe worker, but to look out for others as well. Before performing a task, a worker needs to be aware of possible hazards that may cause an accident and ensure that he/she has the proper PPE for the job, the right equipment, and is aware of others that may be effected by the task being performed. By thinking ahead, accidents can be prevented and each member of the project can work in a safe environment and make it home safely at the end of the day. My internship allowed me to see the importance of safety and to be aware of future hazards so that they may be prevented. This has changed my perspective on construction by allowing me to think in terms of safety in everything that I do.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I Build America to me is a chance for others to see the importance of construction and how it is a vital part of our lives. Construction is a challenging, dangerous, and time consuming profession, but provides great opportunity for men and women to succeed in. I Build America is important because it instills a sense of pride in men and women that work in the profession. It is difficult work, but it is rewarding to know that the work that is being performed will be used to allow transportation, power, healthcare, and so much more to the people of the world. Through the IBA movement, people can get excited about construction and hopefully generate more people to pursue a career in the construction industry. IBA is allowing others the opportunity to see construction and the process that it takes to build something, in order to get others to understand the hard work that it takes, as well as let the people of construction know that what they do has a great purpose to our society.