We are excited to have interns joining BMWC all over the country this summer. Students will be working in Virtual Design, Information Systems, Quality and Engineering departments. Some will be in the office and some are out on job sites, and our hope is that each of them will gain hands-on experience in their respective fields. It takes drive and commitment to complete an internship and we’re glad these students chose to spend their summer with us.
We also know that internships are a significant investment into one’s career and future, so we’ve asked two of our past interns to share some advice on how to steward that time well and to make the most of an internship!
Jillian interned with our Marketing Department throughout the summers of 2017 and 2018 where she developed proposal documents, presentations and reports, designed digital graphics for marketing material and created and edited resumes for project proposals.
Greet everyone you come into contact with in the morning. Give them a warm smile and say “good morning.” A friendly, positive attitude goes a long way.
Be on time every day and willing to stay late. Your hard work and commitment to the project will not go unnoticed.
Take initiative and do the tedious tasks no one really wants to do with a positive attitude. If you fill out paperwork your supervisor dreads doing without being prompted, they will really appreciate you.
Connect with your fellow interns, including the ones on other sites and in the office. They’re in the same boat as you, so to speak, and they can be a great resource. I still talk to the interns I worked with at BMWC!
-Jillian Warner, Senior at Indiana University
Alex joined BMWC in 2017 as an intern in the Virtual Design department. Upon graduation he came on full-time as a Project Engineer and has been a great asset assisting with estimating and cost controls at one of our largest job sites in Indiana.
Always be looking for the next thing to do. Once you finish a task, don’t just sit there and wait for your boss to give you something else to do. Take the initiative to find something to work on, because you won’t learn anything by sitting there. First, check with your boss to see if they have anything for you to do, and if not, then go ask other people if they need help on anything. In construction, it is important to be able to learn the role of all the different departments and how they all work together, so if you find yourself with free time don’t be afraid to learn about the other departments.
Never stop asking questions. If you don’t understand something, do not hesitate to ask questions to help you figure it out. I am still relatively new as a project engineer and I still find myself regularly walking over to my project managers office to ask him questions. I want to make sure what I am doing is correct, so the best thing to do is to ask the guys that have the most experience on the job to help you out.
Get out in the field as much as possible and watch the work being done. This may be difficult if you are in the office, but try to get your manager to plan a trip to take you out to see and learn about one of the job sites. Being able to see what work is being done and how they do it will be a great benefit when you’re a project engineer or a project manager and you’re helping estimate new projects. Since I am still relatively new, I still see hundreds of maintenance jobs come by my desk describing work that I have no idea what it is or how it is done. So I try to get out in the field often to learn more about it and have a better understanding of the work.
-Alex Climaco, Project Engineer at BMWC
For more insight on how to make the most of an internship opportunity, check out what Harvard Business Journal and Berkeley have to say.