School: University of Texas at San Antonio
Major: Civil Engineering
Company: Angel Brothers Holding Co.
Internship from May 27, 2013 — August 23, 2016
I am Lee Cole Thomas II, and sophomore in civil engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio. I chose to do a construction internship for a few reasons. The first reason that I chose to do an internship in construction is because I am a third generation in my family to be in construction and hope to be a third generation civil engineer. Another reason that I chose to do an internship in construction is because I use to work in construction during the summer to earn money and from the first time I stepped out of my bosses truck on a survey crew I loved it. I loved the comradery that I established with my fellow employee’s. I loved being able to work outside even if it was during the brutal Texas summer heat. I especially loved the feeling at the end of the day knowing that you had put in a good days work.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
During the summer of 2013 I worked on a asphalt crew assisting the 1B technician with testing asphalt. I exeed the company’s expectation for myself by not only helping the 1B technician but learning a majority of the equipment used on a paving crew in order to help out the foreman in the case of one his employee’s not showing up I could run what ever piece of equipment that that employee was in charge of. In 2014 I was expected to print out plans and help around the office I exceed the companies expectation by learning HCSS Heavy Bid software in my free time so that during the time of the TxDot lettings I could set up all their bids with the pertinent bid items. In 2015 I exceed the companies expectations by requesting to manage my own project and was given the opportunity to manage a 3.3 million dollar TxDot job for hays county. I coordinated with our own crews and subcontractors to get the job done with only a week of time penalties due to weather. In 2016 we migrated to a HCSS hosted cloud in order to run our Heavy bid and heavy job applications and have spent the summer learning the new cloud based version of HCSS in order to help the estimators get set up for upcoming lettings.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
In my construction internship I learned many things that have affected my life in a positive way. One thing that I learned that has helped me in life is the organization that goes into construction can be applied in most aspects of my life. I applied the same organization that I used in construction to my school work and have not been late on an assignment or had to cram for a test because of it. Another thing that I learned from construction that has helped me in life is time management. In construction there is a lot going on and if you don’t manage your time correctly then you will not get everything done, just the same as in school I started to plan out when I would study and it has helped me immensely in school. Another thing that is vital in construction is how you deal with people such as your subcontractors or your own employee’s. I learned that you have to treat people with respect even if they are your employee or a subcontractor working for you. This applies to every aspect of life, if you treat people with respect they will treat you with respect.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
During my time in my construction internship I dealt with both safety and quality. One way that I dealt with safety is when we were paving on a three lane highway and only were allowed to have one lane closed. I asked the inspector that was on the job if we could close one more lane so that we had more room to work and ultimately be safer. The inspector allowed us to close one more lane after 12 am. An area that I dealt with quality is when I worked helping the 1B tech testing asphalt. I learned how the asphalt should look, about drain down test, the temperature that it is suppose to come out at, and other aspects of paving quality asphalt.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
After reviewing IBuildAmerica.com I am glad that there are people out there that have the best interest of people in construction because it is a dangerous and rewarding job. Having people like IBuildAmerica.com shows that there are people out there who care about our safety most importantly but also the industry itself.