School: Michigan State University
Major: Construction Management
Company: The Christman Company
Internship from May 16, 2016 — August 12, 2016
My name is Josh Bachert and I am currently 22 years old and attending Michigan State University. I switched majors from mechanical engineering to construction management after my sophomore year and have not looked back since. I started working in construction my freshman year when I hired into the steam shop on campus and worked along side a pipefitter. After my switch to construction management I began working as a student project representative for the university, overseeing several small-large scale projects on campus ranging from $500,000-$20,000,000. All of this experience in the construction field made me realize my true passion in life, as before I never truly knew. I love learning about construction and especially working in it. Ever since I was a kid I had a love for building things and learning how things worked and now I get the chance to do that on a much larger scale. These are the main reasons I chose to intern with The Christman Company this summer.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
The results that I achieved throughout my internship were overall excellent. I managed a rolling punch-list to ensure work was maintaining pace and was completed in a timely manner, managed a general laborer on a day-to-day basis and kept him on track, managed the list of issues from the city inspector and made sure the list was complete before he returned each week, managed an architects punch-list for the entire building and ensured all of the items were being completed in a timely manner, and I worked with sub-contractors to facilitate close-out documents. I exceeded my companies expectations of all these tasks by making sure they were all completed on-time or even early and provided daily updates on the status of each. I tried to stay ahead of the game and do things before I was asked so I could readily answer any questions my company may have.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
Basically everything I learned this summer will affect me in a positive way. My two supervisors did an excellent job of constantly teaching me on a daily basis and really encouraging a work environment where there is no stupid questions and when there are questions, they are answered with a thorough explanation so you can really understand what’s going on. In particular some highlights of things I’ve learned this summer that will positively affect my life are an in depth knowledge of how a construction site is generally run long with how things are installed and how to develop relationships with contractors on site, to not only make your job much easier but also to learn from them.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
During my internship I was in charge of managing multiple punch-lists as well as managing the city inspectors issues list which was the extent of my involvement with quality. In terms of safety, my company is huge on safety and I have been both internally educated but have been educated by safety officers who come to site and walk around a point out safety concerns or issues. From those walks I have learned more about safety than I could of ever imagined this summer. Being involved in both quality and safety has made me realize there is much more to construction than just building something. Everyone sees a beautiful facility being built but never sees all of the behind the scenes work that goes on during the process. It amazed me what truly goes to make the final product something that the customer can enjoy when we are done.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I Build America to me, means that there is finally an initiative to educate this country and even world that without construction we would not be able to do any of the things we do. Everyone seems to complain about construction, and I agree, the occasional traffic slow down or road closure does tend to get quite frustrating, but if people were truly educated on what construction does for this country their mindset would completely change. Getting into construction has changed my mindset and I think with I Build America it will have a similar effect with the citizens of this country. People in this country take too many things for granted and if they were educated on construction, they would change their mindset from being frustrated with a road closure to happy that something is being done about the road full of potholes.