I can vividly remember my father guiding me through the wooden frames of what would soon be a finished home. My exposure to the building industry starting when I was a child, shadowing my father in his architectural firm. Now I am a third year civil engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh. From the start of my higher education, I found myself gravitating towards the construction industry. At first, the decision to pursue civil engineering and construction seemed to be purely based on academic interest, but as I have explored the industry first hand through various internships, I can finally articulate what makes construction so appealing. For me, it comes down to two parts. The first is an emphasis on problem solving. Anyone who has been exposed to engineering, especially within construction, knows that no project goes off without a hitch. Even in my own limited industry experience I have encountered certain roadblocks such as trenches being interrupted by existing water lines, drilling rigs failing on boulders, and lacking on-site equipment needed to start utilities before turning over a building. What separates a good engineer is their ability to overcome these obstacles at minimal cost and time. Being able to take part in this problem solving process keeps the construction workplace exciting and interesting. As well, the ability to see a building erect, and to know that such structure is standing because of my hard work and effort is an incredibly rewarding experience.
This summer I took part in an internship with DCK Worldwide. Through the month of May I worked as an estimator in their corporate office in Pittsburgh. During that time, I was encouraged to speak with as many different employees and learn about their job and responsibilities in the various departments within DCK Worldwide. A project manager in the operations department was introducing me to the work that was being done on a project in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and invited me to spend a week visiting the site and learning about the jobs and responsibilities of field engineers and project managers. I am a big proponent of taking advantage of every unique opportunity presented to me, and believe that the bulk of my education will be from experience outside the office and classroom, where I can see the principles and practices of engineering first hand. When combined with a love of travel, I enthusiastically agreed to join him on site in Jamaica. When the human resources department at DCK Worldwide saw my enthusiasm for gaining field experience and travel, they proposed that I transfer from estimating to operations and spend the remaining length of my internship on site. I soon found myself working on a forty-five million dollar construction project for two months in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Live voting has ended.