Each year, Granger Construction hires college students pursuing construction-related degrees as interns in our office and on our jobsites. Throughout their tenures, these students gain valuable real-world experience they can apply to their educations and careers.

With the start of the fall semester upon us, we asked two interns to reflect upon their experiences with Granger this past summer.

Keith Brushwyler, a senior at Hope College, worked with Granger’s Functions Division of MEP professionals learning how to design systems as well as time at the Hope College Bultman Student Center project in Holland, Mich.

According to Keith, one of his best learning experiences was reviewing the existing mechanical system for the Hope College project. Part of his responsibility involved running calculations to determine the effectiveness of the mechanical system at the Dewitt Center, located directly adjacent to the new Student Center. Once complete, Granger presented these findings, along with various solutions, to the owner so they could decide what system was best for their facility. While the knowledge and skills he gained from the hands-on experience were extremely important, Keith noted that the larger lessons learned were just as valuable.

“I recognized that Granger went above and beyond to provide the best information possible so the owner could make a decision that was in their best interest,” Keith said. “This really helped me understand the important role a construction manager plays in delivering a quality product to the client.”

Andrew Seguin, from Michigan State University, described his internship at the MSU Federal Credit Union Headquarters 2 project in East Lansing as a great experience. Like many employees, Andrew realized quickly that you get out of an internship what you are willing to put into it.

“I wanted a great experience, so I worked for it,” he said.

During one of his first days he attended a post-bid meeting with key team members and several subcontractors. Rather than feeling stuck in a meeting with nothing to contribute, Andrew listened intently.

“It was a cool experience to see which subcontractors were prepared for their meeting and which ones were not,” Andrew said.

Being immersed in the management side of the construction process proved to be an excellent learning opportunity. Andrew was tasked with managing the project’s daily reports utilizing Granger’s GoCanvas program. Not only did he learn how to use new technology, but it also forced him to communicate regularly with the subcontractors and view each of their schedules.

As Andrew’s skills and knowledge of the project increased, so did his confidence. The highlight of his summer came when the project superintendent asked him to supervise the fireproofing activities in the lower level of this three-story corporate headquarters building.

“The fact that he had confidence in me to do this gave me more confidence in myself,” said Andrew. “This experience and the relationships I built are things that will stay with me for years to come.”

Want more? Here are nine others lessons learned by Granger’s 2016 interns:

  1. Things go much smoother when everyone works as a team
  2. Communication and organization are extremely important to the overall success of the job
  3. You must be flexible; able to adapt to any situation
  4. Learn as much as you can from those around you
  5. Your attitude/professional demeanor is just as important as the skills you use on the job
  6. It’s better to solve problems than point fingers
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help
  8. Time management is critical
  9. It’s important to set goals and to measure progress against those goals – this is true for individuals, companies and for each project

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