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Internship Experiences Range from Helicopter Rides to Concrete Pours

Contributor: Swinerton Blogger   |   November 18, 2014
Internship Experiences Range from Helicopter Rides to Concrete Pours

During the summer of 2014, the Colorado and Government divisions employed six college interns from a variety of well respected construction management programs. These future construction professionals all experienced many different aspects of general construction as they rotated through several departments and projects, including: historic renovations to a middle school, renovations of the U. S. Air Force Academy, ongoing new construction of the Monroe Street Apartments and the Hyatt Hotel projects, several build-outs, and estimating recent wins.

The 2014 class of interns encompassed: Mark Norin, a senior at Colorado State University; Shelby Lee, a senior at the University of Denver; Torrie Peth, a junior attending California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; Klye Flair, a senior at Kansas State University; Andy Ochs, a senior attending Washington State University; and Robert Lee, a senior at Brigham Young University, Idaho.

The Swinerton Quarterly (SQ) recently discussed with the students their internship experience, favorite aspect of the summer, and what they will be taking back with them to the classroom.

SQ: What did you learn? 

MN: I learned that people skills and communication skills are critical attributes on a construction site and in completing a project.

SL: Coming into the summer I had little knowledge about the commercial construction industry and how it was run. I now have a good grasp on the structure from the big picture of procuring jobs, the estimating and preconstruction process to the submittal, RFI, PCI processes; all the way down to quality control and job close-out. I have also learned the great deal of coordination that the general contractor is responsible for.

KF: It doesn’t matter if you have absolutely no idea on how something works all you have to do is ask a question and someone will help.

TP: I learned a great amount being in the field because it was something I had never experienced. The ability to look at the construction plans and not understand something, but walk outside to see it in real life, and communicate with foreman to gain that understanding is something a classroom cannot provide.    

SQ: What was the highlight on your internship?

AO: Going up in a helicopter to shoot aerial progress photography at the Monroe Street Project.

RL: Getting to see the applications of things I have only learned about in school.

MN: The completion of the Byers school renovation and the satisfaction of seeing students come on the first day of school.

SQ: What is your favorite aspect of the built environment?

TP: My favorite aspect of the built environment portrays itself through a lack for boundaries and constrained ideas. Creativity and innovation are constantly working together to advance the construction industries in unfathomable ways. Whether it’s day-to-day obstacles in the field requiring creativity, or the overall design of a building, the existence of limitations are null and void.

SL: I love seeing the progression each day on a project and knowing what a huge effect the work you are doing is going to have on so many people, without them even realizing it. I also love the great deal of coordination that goes into each and every project and the ability to remember that success as you drive by former projects and tell friends and family, “we built that building.”

RL: The ability to build projects that will be used and enjoyed by people for years in the future.

KF: Being involved with high-rise construction. These were the first projects that I have been a part of that have consisted of more than just slab-on-grade and a roof.