School: The Ohio State University
Major: Construction Systems Management
Company: The Great Lakes Construction Co.
Internship from May 9, 2016 — August 19, 2016
Growing up around construction made it an easy choice for a career path. As a kid I followed my uncle around learning the labor side of things, during my high school years I had the chance to follow my brother around on his job sites and learn some technical skills from him. After spending a few college summers as a laborer, It was a no-brainer when I got the chance to Intern with The Great Lakes Construction company out of Cleveland, OH. Construction has been a way of life for me, it has had my attention since I was a little kid. The heavy/civil field has always been the most interesting to me, being on a highway job for two summers with Great Lakes only made my passion for grow. Building structures that people use every day is very satisfying to me. Ordinary people rely on us to build their communities and ways of transportation without even knowing it.
I cannot wait to continue to grow in this field, it is forever changing and it is amazing to watch construction change world.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
My internships have shaped my way of thinking, I finally found a place where I fit in and can just be myself. As an intern I wanted to get my hands on everything that I possibly could in order to obtain as much knowledge as I could. During my first internship with Great Lakes, it took me a couple weeks to warm up to the job and my duties. As soon as my second internship began, I was firing on all cylinders. The results from my internship enormously exceeded my expectations. The most important results to me are the technical skills I learned from the workers in the field. Those skills are most important to me because they have helped me understand how the different tasks are actually completed. Knowing how the tasks are completed helped me understand many other parts of the job, it helped me understand the different parts of a schedule and why it took a certain duration to finish that task. Knowing and understanding the tasks helped me understand daily production, and how it directly effects our bottom line.
I did not do anything at Great Lakes that I would have not done anywhere else. I exceeded their expectations by just doing everything I possibly could do to learn everything about the job. Not being afraid to do anything, helped me earn the respect of the workers and helped me exceed the expectations that were set for me by other interns. As a young man it was very important to me to earn the respect of the supervisors and professionals that were above me, and I think I did a thorough job of doing so.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
Learning how to relate with the workers on a deeper level than the traditional relationship between workers and supervisors. This will change my life in a positive way because my goal is to be running jobs as a superintendent. Being able to develop a relationship with my workers helped me understand the work and it helped production because they wanted to give their all for someone that has their back. Being in a positive environment helped our job be successful and operate more smoothly.
The relationships I made on the job site helped me learn more about the job, developing relationships with my supervisors allowed me to pick their brain about the job and their experiences. This is something that I will forever remember, these are the relationships that I will remember when I am running my own jobs and have an intern of my own. It was amazing to feel like a part of the team as a 21 year old college student.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
Safety was apart of everyday life on the construction site, I had many tasks that dealt with our safety department. I would perform weekly safety checklists based on what I saw on site all week. Every week we would have toolbox talks where we would open it up to comment and concerns that the workers had. Safety concerns came up during the summer, talking to the workers on site and getting their opinion on the subject is really important to me because they need to feel safe if I expect them to work for me. It really opens your eyes to what is important in life, everyone wants to go home at the end of the day. It is not always about being the most productive or efficient, keeping your workers safe is what keeps the company working.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I Build America, to me, means the pride That we invest in projects that are building infrastructure all over the world. Growing up, I watched my parents work their very hardest to produce the best possible product that they could in order for me and my three brothers to survive. Seeing how proud they were of their work, gave me a drive to be proud of my work and to be the very best that I can be in my given situation. Having pride in our work, is what construction is all about. We need to be proud in the product we have made with our hands and brains. The pride starts with the people in the office, they have the pride to light a fire under their workers in order to produce the best possible product. Making sure that safety does not go to the wayside is the most important factor because the workers need to be safe in order to have that pride.