School: Iowa State University of Science and Technology
Major: Software Engineering
Company: Sundt Construction
Internship from May 16, 2016 — August 17, 2016
My name is Matthew Szpak. I am a senior at Iowa State University of Science and Technology studying for my bachelor of science in software engineering. I obtained a summer internship with Sundt Construction in Tempe, Arizona over the summer of 2016. You might be wondering why I chose to do an internship in construction if my major is software engineering. Well growing up, I worked construction on various different projects as a laboror, welders helper, and operator. I’m familiar with the industry, I’m comfortable in it, and most importantly I enjoy it. The interesting thing about software is that it has so many applications. I decided it would be ideal if I could use my education in software to help improve, or better the construction industry.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
During my internship, I gained valuable experience in a number of new computer programs geared directly towards the construction industry and different construction processes. With that being said, I learned the different software’s available to the construction industry, as well as insight into other software’s that are needed. I can use this knowledge to consider and work on a new idea for a program that could help the industry. I believe I exceeded the companies expectations because I was a fast learner, and being a software guy, I was able to pick up the different uses very quickly. There wasn’t much of a learning curve which allowed me to jump right into action and help many people around the office with their work.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
As I mentioned, I learned some insight into what kind of software’s are needed to make the construction industry even more efficient. I learned how effective a good team can be in terms of completing work on time. And I learned a lot about the construction industry that I didn’t already. I previously worked most of my construction experience out in the field, but during my internship I had the opportunity to work in the head office doing Pre-Construction, so I really enjoyed seeing a different side of the industry and how it all comes together to create a finished product.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
Having worked construction in the past, I know how important safety is. No one should have to worry about losing their lives, or a family member losing their lives at work. Unfortunately it does happen, which reveals why safety is so important. I’ve worked on mining sites where people have lost their lives and most times, they could have been prevented if the proper precautionary measures were taken. Quality also is very important. Poor quality can also result in people getting hurt, but can also result in more work. I always say if you’re going to do something, do it right. Sundt puts a high standard on quality, and it shows in the growth of the company.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I build America, to me, means continuing to grow this great country we live in. With technology continuing to grow, we can build more efficient, sustainable buildings, for future generations. We can pass on our knowledge to younger generations, and continue the trend.