School: Iowa State University
Major: Construction Engineering
Company: Ryan Companies US, Inc.
Internship from May 23, 2016 — December 16, 2016
My name is Preston Blanek and I am a Senior in Construction Engineering at Iowa State. To begin with, I chose engineering because I like working with my hands and I enjoy math and science. Construction was what grabbed my attention. I chose to do an internship in construction mainly for experience. I have not previously had a job in construction, although I have done plenty of labor jobs that have provided me the necessary skills to jump into the world of construction. Finally, I got an internship in construction to see if it was the right choice for me.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
Currently still on my 8-Month internship, but it is going great thus far. In the beginning it was difficult, due to lack of knowledge in construction management and many other basic fundamentals of construction. The one thing that helped me the most was my communication skills. Throughout this internship thus far, I have achieved a greater learning of what construction is, having the opportunity to tour many job sites, and meet many great connections.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
The main thing that this internship has taught me is that communication is the most important aspect of construction. For construction management, you must be able to communicate proficiently with subcontractors as well as architects and owners. In addition to communication, another aspect of construction that I have become much more familiar about is technology. With this day in age, construction is changing rapidly into a more technological environment. Being able to use and understand the new methods for running construction project can be difficult, but an exciting learning process.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
To be honest, before having any previous construction experience I somewhat laughed at the idea of some of the safety precautions that occur on job sites. But seeing and experiencing it on this internship now, I have a much greater appreciation for safety regulations and precautions. On my internship I had the opportunity to speak with a few safety engineers, which was an eye opening experience. Learning about how simple activities on the job site can have great impacts. For example, one idea was having a stretching exercise to do before starting work. This provided a great opportunity for safety, as well as boost communication between all of the workers. I thought that this was a great mindset to have going into each day of work.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I think that I Build American is a great addition to the construction industry. This provides the means of demonstrating the great accomplishments by men and women in construction. For me, I Build America, means that I have the opportunity to go into construction. Even without much previous experience in construction, I Build America, is recruiting my generation to the construction industry which is an awesome idea. To me, it always seemed that construction was an older generation business, but being able to get out into it myself is groundbreaking.