My name is Will Bodnar and I am a sophomore Civil Engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt). Due to my father being a civil engineer, an internship in the field was a natural choice for me. From as far back as I can remember, I can recall myself having my picture taken in excavators, dozers, and cranes. I have always been enamored by the size and scope of all his projects.
In high school, I always gravitated towards math and science courses and took drafting classes that taught computer-aided design programs as well as drawing plans by hand. This added to my growing passion for engineering. After completing my first year of school at Pitt, I knew that I wanted to have practical, “real world” experience at a site. I could then use this experience towards not only jobs that I will hopefully have in this field in the future, but also in the classes I will be taking over the next few years.
The choice between pursuing a construction or design experience for my first internship was an easy one because the field is so broad, there are so many roles taking place at once, always giving an opportunity to learn. For my 2017 summer internship, I worked with Kiewit at the Cove Point LNG Expansion project in Lusby, Maryland. Going into such a $3B mega-job with only one year of college experience and no previous work in engineering, I was a little apprehensive. However, with the company providing a mentor to each intern and world-class training, my initial anxiousness quickly disappeared.
As soon as I started on the project, I began the role as the lone concrete and grout Field Engineer. This role allowed me to be fully immersed into what a job is like in the profession after graduation and gave me both time in the office and the field. From the second week forward, I was in charge of ordering, scheduling, and tracking the cost of concrete for the entire jobsite, while managing six crews of 31 cement finishers and laborers. I was taught all the key principles of the company, most importantly safety and quality and how they fit into every task within construction. Given the amount of responsibility that came with my role, I faced countless challenges everyday with which I had to use my experience from the lessons I learned throughout the summer and school, as well as communicate with other field engineers and managers to see what they would do in a certain situation.
Having an internship in construction allowed me to interact and work with thousands of diverse people daily and learn from them, while improving infrastructure and seeing the progress of a mega-job first hand. I am looking forward to using everything I learned this past summer from this amazing opportunity in my classes and future career opportunities.
Live voting has ended.