School: University of Florida
Major: Construction Management
Company: Robins & Morton
Internship from May 16, 2016 — August 5, 2016
My name is Wade Ruhl and I will be starting my junior year of college at the University of Florida this week. My major field of study is in Construction Management and I am a member of the Associated Builders and Contractors of America and Construction Management Association of America which are industry related professional organizations. I selected Construction Management as my career path because I have always had an interest in building things with a team and seeing what we could create together. I’ve worked part-time in construction since high school and find great pride in the results of what can be built through hard work and efforts. I chose to do an internship in construction over the past summer as it would provide me the opportunity to learn, on the job, how to apply what I have learned from the class room setting and construction course I have completed. Correspondingly, I also wanted to increase my knowledge of the industry, responsibilities, and obtain hands on experience that will in turn assist me in my upper division core curriculum courses and in my future career.
What results did you achieve on the internship, and how did you exceed the company's expectations for your role?
I was excited to be a part of the team which helped build a cancer treatment facility, which was connected to an existing hospital. At the beginning of the internship, the job site was behind in an assortment of tasks which I helped to complete that provided workload relief to the full time management team and brought the work activities to a current status. This included completion of requests for information, change orders, collating drawings, managing sub-contractors, completing punch lists, facilitating scheduling, oversight of manual labor, managing deliveries of equipment, and the movement of million dollar cancer treatment equipment. This was all completed without accident incidents, no major complications, and on-time which resulted in a successful project outcome during my time on the job. Personally, I received commendations on my discipline, problem solving skills, willingness to work in whatever capacity was needed, professionalism, time-management skills, teamwork, and was advised by the General Superintendent would be happy to have me work for them again.
What did you learn in this internship that will affect your life in a positive way?
Through this internship, I gained a better understanding about the construction industry and what was needed to be successful in Construction Management in the future. In addition, to construction related skills that will assist me in my upper division Construction courses, I also learned how to deal effectively with sub-contractors through negotiation and strong communication skills. This internship also increased my ability to manage complex schedules and the accomplishment of multiple tasks within a series of assorted deadlines. This internship provided me with a variety of experiences that allowed me the opportunity to strengthen my communication skills and people skills which I would otherwise not have been provided from my standard college course work.
How were you involved with safety and/or quality during your internship, and how did that change your perspective on construction?
Safety and quality were key elements of my job responsibilities throughout my construction internship. As it relates to quality, I was responsible for creating punch lists for any quality issues that needed to be resolved and the subsequent coordination and oversight of ensuring sub-contractors completed the final products at the level of the required quality standards. I began my internship with a safety orientation and throughout my internship I participated in meetings with the safety manager on a weekly basis and on a monthly basis with the Construction Company. I took my accountability for safety on the job site very seriously, not only for myself but also through addressing safety issues with personnel that reported to me and by taking ownership to address anyone on the job site not adhering to the safety standards. This included the most common violations such as not wearing safety glasses, hard hats, respirators when needed, and the appropriate use of lasers. My perspective on construction was enhanced by the formality of the quality processes and consistent presence of the safety manager on site which showed the importance placed on safety on the job site. This focus reinforced the importance of quality and safety and increased my awareness of how critical these elements are on a construction work site.
After reviewing www.IBuildAmerica.com, tell us what I Build America means to you?
I honestly did not know that there was an initiative to show the importance of construction to our modern life. It is inspiring to see that others share my passion and pride in making a positive difference to people and our country through construction work. It is also nice to see the recognition of the dangerous and challenging working conditions that we weather in order to make sure that our job and the project we are working on gets completed on time with a high level of quality. I have a lot of pride in what I do but others around me do not always see the value in the work that I have chosen and why this is a rewarding career choice for me. This even includes some of the people that I worked alongside throughout my internship. I also appreciated that this site provides interesting, industry related articles and other information that can be beneficial to share, recognizes companies that support this initiative, and rewards those that have made a positive impact on the construction industry through innovations in areas such as safety and efficiency. As I continue to look forward to future construction internships and a long, lasting construction career where I too can make a positive difference, I want to share my passion and pride in being a part of, “I Build America