THE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
For over 20 years, Granger Construction has offered summer internship opportunities to college students studying construction management, engineering or a related subject. These students gain real-life, hands-on experience, either on a jobsite or in an office setting. In the past, internship experiences varied greatly from student to student. Granger’s leadership team realized that developing a more robust and structured internship program could prove significantly more valuable for both visiting students and the company.
Because Granger has been experiencing growth in the number of construction projects it is undertaking at any given time, the expansion of the Human Resources Department became important. This led to the hiring of Molly Gurski, in the role of Human Resources Generalist, and created the capacity to invest more time into the internship program. Since then, Gurski has overseen great improvements to the program.
BUILDING THE SUMMER INTERNSHIP
Granger’s internship program lasts twelve weeks and during this time interns are stationed with teams across the company. On three Fridays throughout the summer, everyone returns to Granger’s Lansing headquarters for group meetings to reflect on their experiences.
“When trying to improve the program our HR Director, Matt Bozung, and I looked at interns’ feedback from past summers and implemented new features that would facilitate an easier transition while also making it more interactive,” notes Gurski. “The last couple years we started having interns participate in a capstone project near the end of the summer. The purpose of the capstone project is to help interns reflect on what they have accomplished and be able to document and present their experiences in a way that will aid them during future job interviews.
GROUP FIELD TRIPS
In addition to the Friday headquarters meetings, Granger has also started organizing jobsite tours for interns throughout their program.
“Every department and team does things slightly differently,” notes Gurski. “So, the more we can expose our interns to while they are here, the better prepared they will be to function as successful team members during their careers.”
During the 2019 program, Granger’s interns visited the Michigan State University STEM Teaching and Learning Facility jobsite. They also had the opportunity to tour the yard and tool shop at Granger’s Lansing headquarters during their first week. Having this option allows the interns to experience a new jobsite and learn about why it matters to the owner, as well as to Granger.
Rhet Schrauben and Jared Bonk walking inside the Michigan State University STEM project
Interns tour the Michigan State University STEM project
Interns tour the Michigan State University STEM project
TESTIMONIALS OF SUCCESS
Since incorporating changes to the internship program, Granger has received significant positive feedback from our current and previous interns.
Jacqueline Mack, 2019 intern at Wayne State University STEM project:
“I am loving Granger. Since day one, everybody has been so helpful and welcoming. I am surrounded by an excellent group of teachers. My favorite part of my job is the interactions with people. The coolest part about being in this field of work is that there are so many opportunities to work with other people. There is constant interaction with those in the field office and with the trades out on site. My responsibilities change every day; some days I will be confirming schedules with the foremen, other days I put together sample boards for the approved materials, and on others I help with BIM coordination, but no day is ever the same. It’s the variation in the daily tasks that keep the job fun and helps me learn as much as I can. At the intern meeting, I really enjoyed learning more about what other departments within the company do. It helped me understand more of the processes the company goes through before starting a job and the different functions within the company that help while we are at a job.”
Brian Ziemba, 2019 intern at Dexter Michigan K-12 school project:
“I am really enjoying my internship! I was lucky enough to be placed on a project with a team that has nearly 80 years of combined experience working for Granger between the senior project manager, project manager, superintendent and administrative assistant. My favorite part of the job is taking on more responsibility and becoming a vital asset to the team. Each day I take on the role of a project engineer, so my responsibilities include handling submittals, RFIs, communicating with subcontractors and much more. At our intern meeting, I enjoyed talking to Matt Bort about the MSU STEM project and the incorporation of mass timber and learning that it is going to be the first application of this unique material in the state of Michigan.”
Alexandria Fischer, 2018-19 intern at MSU’s STEM project:
“While completing my senior year at Michigan State, I was given the opportunity to work for Granger Construction. I had the special honor of working on the MSU STEM Project, which includes the renovation of the old Shaw Lane Power Plant as well as two new additions. Once complete, this will be a state-of-the-art lab teaching and learning facility, and an asset to MSU’s campus. This internship has been an incredible experience and looking back on everything I’ve learned makes me very thankful for this unique opportunity. Interning on an MSU project while also attending school is as good as it gets! I’ve had the privilege of working with a phenomenal project team, who utilized every opportunity to teach me something new, and included me as an integral member of the team. Because of this experience, I’m entering the construction industry with so much more knowledge, ability, and confidence than I ever expected. Thank you again, Granger!”
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
“My favorite thing about working with Granger’s internship program is watching the interns grow and develop as young professionals over the course of twelve weeks,” notes Gurski. “For some, this is their first internship and it is remarkable to see them become more confident and knowledgeable toward the end.”
“Granger’s internship program has always offered unique value for students, and I am excited to see us continuing to develop and increase our offerings. The stronger internship opportunities we can build for students, the stronger our next generation of team members will be when they enter the workforce.”
Interns listening to Tim Cassel speaking about ToolWatch
Interns participate in a tour of the yard from Tim Cassel
Interns listening to presentations on Orientation Day
13 interns on their first day with Granger’s 2019 Summer Internship program