School: Cleveland State University
Major: Civil Engineering
Company: The Great Lakes Construction Company
Internship from May 16, 2016 — August 18, 2016
I have been fascinated by the craftsmanship, discipline, and professionalism local construction companies display in my area ever since I was a young child. I have always wanted to be able to “think on my feet” the way tradesmen, engineers, and project superintendents do on a daily basis. In 2009, I joined the Marine Corps and eventually earned the title “Assaultman”. My job entailed to strategically destroy any structure through explosive and/or mechanical breaching. I was put through basic strength of materials and structural analysis classes to learn where any weak points are in order to use the least amount of supplies possible in an effort to save for future missions. I proudly spent four years serving my country in this fashion. By this time I desired to come home and utilize the knowledge and leadership traits that I inherited to become a Civil Engineer. Having this internship was a vital stepping stone to achieving this goal.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
Not only have I learned how the company I interned with operates, but I was also able to work with other sub-contractors which allowed me to obtain much knowledge of how construction companies operate individually and as a team. I was able to take much weight off the shoulders of the engineer who I directly worked for by assisting him in recording the project’s daily progress, managing a force account with the Ohio Department of Transportation, overseeing the safety of all operators, laborers, and many other tradesmen on the work sight, and several other tasks. I was able to exceed the company’s expectations for my role by displaying strong communication, problem solving, and leadership skills through which was instilled in me from serving in the Marine Corps.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
I learned how important every single individual is on the job sight. From the young laborer apprentice, to the president of the company, everyone plays a crucial role and deserves to be respected. I was humbled by how much detail went into the planning process of every part of the project. I attended many company meetings which were held at least two weeks prior to any event. Every possible detail and measurement of efficiency was discussed. From properly and safely unloading 60 ton pre-cast arches for a new bridge, to making sure carpenters will be “anchored in” and had proper harnesses on a high rise, not one stone seemed to be left unturned. Witnessing and having experienced this level of professionalism has had a strong impact on my life and I look forward to carrying out these methods to take on future challenges!
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
Every week, I filled out a three page safety check list. I would drive to several locations on the job sight to fill out the list by personally inspecting if equipment had serviceable fire extinguishers, proper PPE was provided and used, flammable gases and liquids were properly labeled, work zones were correctly set, and to see if many other standards were kept. It changed my perspective on the field of construction by demonstrating how serious the company which I worked with took the issue of safety. No one was “too good for safety”. Every rank within the company was held accountable.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
Many people in our society seem to forget the importance and impact the construction community has on our daily lives. Having an internship within this industry is nothing short of an honor. Those who work in construction can easily take much pride in their hard work because they’re literally shaping the modern lifestyle of anyone living in the 21st century. Having personally experienced the harsh realities of those who live in third world countries, “I Build America” is something which I hold near and dear to my heart. I believe it is a direct representation of how we have developed as a country. I am forever grateful for the internship I have had and hope to one day be able to continue improving America’s infrastructure!