School: California Polytechnic State University
Major: Construction Management
Company: Anning-Johnson Company
Internship from June 13, 2016 — September 9, 2016
My name is Lorcan Yeung and I am the middle child of a loving Christian, Chinese family. I am very passionate about my faith, Badminton, and my studies at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. For this upcoming 2016-2017 school year I will be entering my second year studying Construction Management. Originally I envisioned myself studying Civil Engineering and didn’t have a clue about Construction Management. However, my friend studying Civil Engineering suggested I check out Construction Management. Ever since I learned more and more about Construction Management, I continued growing more interested in this field of study. After my first year I learned many new and intriguing aspects of the construction industry and was determined to find the right internship for the summer. I had accumulated a large amount of knowledge about construction management, but wanted to be sure I understood and would love having a career in construction by experiencing an internship as soon as possible. Fortunately I was graced with an internship opportunity with Anning-Johnson Company. Prior to beginning my internship I heard that no day of work is the same as the other, it may be filled with walking the site or working at the office. Experiencing that first hand this past summer has helped me have a more well-rounded view of construction management and has rejuvenated my driven passion to continue down this excellent career path.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
This past summer I interned with Anning-Johnson Company which is one of the largest subcontractors in the United States. I was lucky enough to work under a Senior Project Manager who worked directly on-site, at the Salesforce Tower located in San Francisco, California. What I really love about this company is their willingness to teach me multiple different tasks that all contribute to the completion of a construction project. Some of these tasks include documenting ongoing constraints preventing us from meeting the indicated deadline, posting RFIs onto our database so the field workers are able to access that information, publishing and submitting RFIs to the general contractor, creating a log for any trade damage, doing takeoff on any new bulletins posted by the general contractor, submitting extra work authorization tags to the general contractor, and documenting our materials arrived on-site. All these tasks were essentially given to me at the same time or as they came up, but these different responsibilities definitely put into perspective the immense amount of work Project Managers have to complete. Being completely new to the construction industry I did submit several RFIs under my supervisor’s name with insufficient information. Although these mistakes caused the general contractor to question my supervisor’s abilities, my supervisor did address the problems. Without these mistakes I believe my performance for the company would have been lacking and I am positive I would not recall much of what I have learned without these vivid mistakes. My supervisor’s constructive criticism proved highly beneficial as my performance increased substantially and I kept a keen eye out for any errors in all the different tasks I had. As my time with Anning-Johnson progressed I was given more and more responsibilities. As a Project Engineer I believe Anning-Johnson truly trusted me with an immense amount of responsibilities even though this was my very first internship. I was able to communicate with the field workers as well as with the general contractor effectively, showcasing my leadership abilities even as a first-year student. I demonstrated to Anning-Johnson that I am more than willing to take on as many responsibilities as they are willing to entrust me with.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
There were many different things that I learned through my very first internship. One that will most definitely impact and benefit me the most is time management. During my internship with Anning-Johnson Company they gave me many responsibilities even though it was my first internship. They placed a lot of trust and confidence in me, however it did take some time for me to adjust to the workload. At one point I submitted a Request for Information to the general contractor with insufficient information under my boss’s name. This in turn caused my boss to question my abilities to handle so much work. However, my boss responded with constructive criticism mentioning it is better to work slower and get the job done perfectly rather than complete the necessary work with many mistakes. This really encouraged me to find a pace which would enable me to get the work done perfectly while at the same time not be too slow where the company would lose money. Once I began to rebuild my confidence after that incident my boss further mentioned that people will mainly remember the mistakes you made if you continue making mistakes. This definitely holds true as once you make a mistake people begin to pay more attention to your flaws. However, if you show your peers or co-workers your ability to correct mistakes and continually improve your performance that is an aspect about you which will remain engrained in their minds for a long time to come. With these two essential scenarios that emphasized the importance of time management I continually aspire to improve in my performance and am always willing to hear any constructive criticism my peers have. With the knowledge of any mistakes I am unaware of I can constantly improve in those areas of weakness and ultimately benefit myself as well as those around me.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
Quality control and safety is a massive part of construction due to the large possibility of injury on construction sites. Prior to construction I already knew that safety was a big issue for construction, however it was not until I worked on-site that things were really put into perspective. There were monthly meetings addressing the safety issues, such as workers not wearing hard hats or working over a ledge without tying-off. Furthermore, whenever a worker saw a safety issue they reported it to the safety supervisor immediately. Although I personally was not completely involved with safety I took my own safety and others’ safety very seriously. Constantly ensuring I wore all my personal protective equipment and keeping a keen eye out for workers who were violating the safety code. Another major aspect of construction is quality which I was partially involved with for Anning-Johnson Company on the Salesforce Tower project. Some ways in which I participated in quality control was creating a trade damage log for the work Anning-Johnson covered, fireproofing and drywall. This log would include images of the damages as well as the company that would have to pay for the rework. Furthermore, I also walked the site and checked whether our work was properly installed or whether there were any obstructions, preventing us from completing our work. Partaking in the quality control of the Anning-Johnson work on site really showed me the importance of communication with co-workers as well as other companies. There was no doubt a perspective shift because of my involvement with safety and quality. I began to understand how easily someone can get seriously injured or even fatally injured on-site as well as how the quality of work will affect the future tenants of the building. It was made clear that safety directly affects the construction workers while quality may affect the safety of potential tenants. For Anning-Johnson specifically, the quality of spraying fireproofing on metal beams would definitely affect the safety of future tenants. Ultimately safety and quality are two things that should not be overlooked or ignored on the construction site because of the potential hazards both in the present and future. With this new knowledge I am more aware of the major responsibility a Project Manager has, the safety of workers as well as the safety of future tenants.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I believe I Build America is an essential resource of the construction industry to continue expanding the public knowledge of construction work. Due to the many hazards construction work poses the image of construction has depreciated over the years however I believe if the construction industry is able to utilize I Build America to its fullest potential the public image of construction will continually improve. I Build America does a great job emphasizing the hard work construction workers put in while participating in a rewarding field of work. This is something the construction world really needs to emphasize and show construction workers that their careers are something they should be very proud of. I like many others take pride in my future career. I take so much pride on my participation on the construction of the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, California, which will be the tallest building on the West Coast. My pride for this career path is one that I would not want to keep to myself and I know that I Build America is a great resource to showcase the many accomplishments of the construction community. I Build America does a splendid job informing the general public about the construction industry and many different career possibilities available to students. Being someone relatively new to the industry I too did not know much about the different career paths construction offered but looking into I Build America I was able to gain some insight on what options I had. I Build America has blessed me with knowledge sometimes easily overlooked and has encouraged me to truly take pride in the work I’m a part of. While I Build America highlights the construction community’s accomplishments it also emphasizes the importance construction has to the community. I always knew construction was important to the community but I didn’t quite understand how construction can benefit infrastructure and the public’s well-being until I was introduced to I Build America. I Build America also encourages me to work diligently and uphold a high standard of quality due to the affects my performance may have to workers as well as the community as a whole. I Build America is a huge resource for me highlighting and enlightening me about important issues or accomplishments construction has. I Build America also is an excellent motivator for me to give my career my very best to ensure the safety of those around me and the community.