Our interns have been hard at work this summer, gaining valuable experience in their fields of study. Before he heads back to school, we asked Marc McGuire, a project management intern at our Madison office, to share his Miron internship experience.
What have you learned this summer? Is there something about the construction industry that you didn’t know before?
Coming into my internship with Miron, I had a few broad, general goals for my summer, but not a lot of specific points. I really just wanted to learn as much as I could in the limited time I would be here. As I look back at my summer, one thing that stands out to me is the incredible amount of teamwork that must go into making a large project come together. Working at the Wisconsin Union project at UW-Madison has been a great opportunity to see this firsthand. With nearly 100 subcontractors and suppliers involved in the project, teamwork is an absolute must. I don’t think I ever really realized how much it actually takes to make these large projects come together.
What has been your favorite part of your internship?
My first day on site seems like such a long time ago. However, seeing different phases of the project take shape helps to make sense of where that time went. Seeing things get accomplished on site has been one of my favorite things this summer. I have always been a person who enjoys crossing things off a to-do list. In construction, that can be an awfully long list. On the day-to-day level, it can seem like not much is happening, but that brings me back to my first point about how much it really takes to make these projects come together.
What has been the hardest part of your internship?
Many times throughout the summer I was given a task that I wasn’t exactly sure how to start. Sometimes I would go back and ask my superintendent for some more instructions and then proceed with the task. Most times, however, I would struggle through the task at first and figure out how to do it on my own or in my own way. I think this mentality comes from the rewarding feeling you get when you struggle with something and finally figure it out on your own. I believe it is good for an intern to have a challenging time with some tasks as this helps you learn new things.
Has your take on the construction industry or your career goals changed since you started your internship?
I have really enjoyed my summer as an intern with Miron and I could really see myself pursuing a career as a project manager. For me, construction is rewarding because you get to see something actually happen. There is an achievable end goal and, in Miron’s case, that is to construct a top-quality building.
What advice would you give other students considering a similar internship?
For a prospective intern looking for a similar position, the biggest piece of advice I would give is to ask as many questions as you can. I have found so much value in asking a simple question about how something goes together or why something is done one way versus another—I have gotten so much more out of it than I could have imagined. Asking questions has allowed me to discover so much about the construction process and has also given me the opportunity to get to know a lot of great people.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience?
An internship in the construction industry can be an intimidating experience at first, but there are so many great people who want to help you learn. There is a great camaraderie between the women and men who work in this industry.