School: Arizona State University
Major: Construction Management
Company: Rummel Construction, Inc.
Internship from May 16, 2016 — August 12, 2016
My name is Jacob Dittbrenner. I’m currently a sophomore at Arizona State University working towards a bachelor’s degree in construction management. Also, I serve my country and state proudly in the Arizona Army National Guard. My MOS is 12N (Horizontal Construction Engineer) where operate anything from a backhoe to a D7 bulldozer. As one can see, what I do in the Military and the degree I’m pursuing at Arizona State University correlate with each other. I choose a construction internship because it is the field of study that I am studying in. With that said is why I choose an internship at Rummel Construction. The internship with Rummel Construction gave me experience in the construction industry and further my education in the construction process. Rummel Construction is a major horizontal construction company based in Arizona. I was able to see many different aspects of horizontal construction. Everything from being a laborer, grade checker, yield checker, quantity take-offs on AGTEK, and witnessing a controlled blast, I was able to do it all with my construction internship with Rummel Construction.
The project I was on was named Mesquite Solar. Mesquite Solar is a 4000-acre complex, potentially one of the largest photovoltaic solar power installations in North America. It created about 530 local construction jobs at peak and 10 full-time positions. With that said I had a firm grasp on the size and importance on this project. I was able to see the importance in communication, meeting deadlines, accuracy in all you do, and being able to deal with different types of personalities. With that said this construction internship with Rummel Construction gave me the opportunity to see all of these different aspects.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
Some of the results that I achieved during this internship was being able to see the importance in communication, meeting deadlines, accuracy in all you do, and being able to deal with different types of personalities. Me being green to the construction industry I was placed in positions where I had to demonstrate these qualities effectively. Also, I spent time with many individuals in the construction industry from laborers, operators, and supervisors who had many decades of experience in the construction industry. Many times I would I ask these individuals, “What are some important things I should learn to further myself in the construction industry.” They would give me their feedback and I would value it. This is because when I graduate I will be placed in a management position where my decisions will effect these individuals and the outcome of the project. I feel the feedback that they gave me was just as important as something I would lean in school.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
I learned many things from this internship that will affect my life in a positive way. The first thing is, was the feeling that I got when I received my letter from Rummel Construction that I was chosen and offered a field engineering internship with Rummel Construction. This was my first internship with a professional company. With that said, when I got that letter it represented a sign of relief. It was a sign that all this effort in school, early morning wake-ups, and the long drive commute to school is starting to pay off. It represented the light in the long dark tunnel that the effort I put into school is paying off. Second, it represented real experience in the field where I got to see how decisions are made and how issues are solved. Whether it was firing an individual, ordering materials for the project, to doing quantity takeoffs in the field. Also, when the internship was said and done it gave me motivation to put that extra effort in school. It gave me the experience where what I learned in school makes sense because of the experience that I obtained through my internship and it gave me that extra motivation to study for a little longer. This is what I learned during my internship that changed my life in a positive way.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
On the first day of my internship I was exposed to Rummel Constructions Safety Culture. I spent the entire day in their main office reviewing their hundred page safety manual with Rummel Constructions safety director. Rummel construction was awarded “EHS Today’s America’s Safest Companies.” With that said I got a real feel for their safety culture and what they expect from their employees. The next day I spent the entire day with one of the three safety supervisors that Rummel Construction had Mesquite Solar. We went through all of the safety protocol that Rummel Construction had in place for the Mesquite Solar project and also the general contractor’s safety protocol. On that project there was over six different Rummel Construction crews, from excavation to trenching, and all had their own unique safety protocols and potential hazards. I got to see what they were and how they prevented any accidents from happening. One day I put my safety training into effect. A twenty ton truck subcontractor operator fell sick and passed out. I had to reflect back on my training and acted. I was able to safely get him out of the truck and contact his employer and get him to care. From there his employer took care of the issue. I also got to see a “stop work authority” that all Rummel Construction employees have. This prevented a potential collision of loader into a post. This gave me a real sense of how Rummel Constructions safety culture is and how serious their employees took it. To be honest I came into this internship with an understanding of how important safety is in construction. I was always preached from school and to working with my father’s construction company and even self-knowledge that safety is the most important aspect of construction and it can never be compromised. This internship changed my perspective on construction because I got to see how a professional business implements a safety culture in within their business and employees.
Quality is very important in construction and I saw this during my internship with Rummel Construction. If the product that you produce is not to the highest quality, it effects your relationship with the design team and the owner of the project. One thing that I learned during this internship is to give one hundred percent effort in all you do. This is because the product you produce affects your company and the project you are working on. If you cannot produce a product or service of high quality you can be replaced with someone else. Also, it may affect your reputation. So it is important that one can produce a service of high quality. Because of how important Rummel Construction took quality of the final product, we were rewarded an extra contract which was an extension of the Mesquite Solar Project. This internship gave me the real world experience on how quality plays an important role in construction.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
“I Build America”, is the perfect median where one can present the planning, effort, struggle, and effort in which a company can post what it takes to construct a construction project. It presents the opportunity for someone green in the construction industry, man or woman, can see a construction project take place and the product that is produced in the end. This modern day innovative company can do just that. From the East Coast to the West Coast, you can see the project that a contractor takes on and also the steps that they take to complete the project. Also, “I Build America” creates a community around the country that recognizes an awarding carrier in the construction industry. This is through the involvement that they create. Weather through social media or directly online, they create a community that directly draws future construction tradesman, construction engineers, and construction management into the fulfilling career in the construction industry. “I Build America” also draws in the community. When someone sees “I Build America “online or merchandise they ask themselves the question what it exactly is it. Once they see what “I Build America” is, they will see the pride that is in the construction industry. This is what I build construction means to me.