Internship to Full-Time: High Co-workers Discuss Their Experiences
For many students, taking time to work in an internship is an investment that’s well worthwhile.
The connection to an organization and its ways of working are eye-opening and formative experiences. Those who make the most of their internships might even receive a job offer. Here are four High Concrete Group co-workers who began their High careers as interns.
Shawn M. is a civil engineering major who interned at High and then was hired as an associate plant engineer. I had two internships with High. During my QC internship, I worked on learning and performing compression tests, plastic concrete testing, prestressing calculations, piece inspections, designing and performing mix designs, and applying ACI and PCI standards. I obtained my PCI (Level 1 and 2) and ACI certifications during my internship as well.
During my engineering internship, I worked on learning how to remediate pieces, understanding connection details, and erection drawings, studying design standards including CRSI, PCI, and ACI manuals, and integrating programs such as CAD, Tekla, RISA, SAP, and Bluebeam into my daily work.
As a full-time co-worker, my role is to serve as a liaison from the engineering department to plant operations. This includes project-specific questions related to interpretation, clarity, interferences, and/or deviation from standard practices.
Lauren R. works as an associate design team leader. She was a High intern while earning Bachelor of Science degrees in both Architecture and Concrete Industry Management. I worked as an intern at a small architectural precast company in Maryland. The following summer I joined High Concrete Group where I interned with quality control, and then the next summer with project management. These two internships provided me with invaluable knowledge. After that, I was offered a full-time position to be a design team assistant in the engineering department.
Since then I have progressed to become an associate design team leader. Now I work with both our internal engineering teams as well as coordinate with the outside general contractors, architects, and engineers. I work with an enthusiastic and energetic team. We are problem solvers and work collaboratively to tackle engineering issues.
Justin B. was an engineering intern for one summer before landing a full-time job as an associate design engineer. I studied civil engineering and decided to pursue an internship at High Concrete for the summer of 2019. Now I am responsible for the engineering design and reinforcement of precast concrete structural components. The process of working on projects requires plenty of communication between me and my team members. We have to make sure that we are on track and aware of what others are doing.
Antonio F. is an estimator who earned an Associate of Science degree in Engineering, then a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. I interned one summer for another company, then my second internship was at High where I mostly worked on testing the new estimating method being developed by the department. My work at High Concrete includes making cost estimates for parking garages and architectural buildings using 3D modeling software as the basis. Using the model along with the estimating software, I include labor, material, erection, transportation, and other areas to develop an accurate estimate of what the project will cost.
Working relationships established while interning helped with the decision to become full-time High co-workers.
Justin B.: With my supervisor as well as others that I worked, I felt that we had a good working connection. Those relationships were a big part of why I said yes to High’s job offer.
Antonio F.: The team I work with has been a great resource of knowledge and experience that has helped me throughout my internship and current position. Being new to a company and industry can feel overwhelming so having good working relationships with your co-workers was important to me.
Shawn M.: All my co-workers were more than willing to take time out of their day to help train and mentor me. It’s like having a second family, which makes going to work every day easy and enjoyable.
Lauren R.: I wanted to work at a company that created a community where people were excited to work together and had positive attitudes. During my first internship at High, my supervisor quickly welcomed me into the team. He encouraged me to jump in and was always a reliable resource and mentor. After working with him, I knew that I could see myself working for High. I felt confident that I would be making a smart choice to work at a company that I already had had a positive experience with, and I knew that it would be the best place to launch my career, to help me grow and learn as much as I could.
All had advice for students considering internships.
Lauren R.: My internship experience set the foundation for my continuous education and development at High. Students who are looking for an internship should keep an open mind and should not be afraid to ask questions. Be willing to explore new paths. Talk to as many people as you can. Make connections. Learn from different perspectives. Broadening your skills and network will allow you to have a well-rounded background and will better prepare you for the future.
Antonio F.: Try to make the most of what you're doing and learning in school and try to get as much experience as you can whether it be through internships or clubs. It will help the transition between school and the working world be smoother, along with building important connections with others. I enjoyed my internship at High. It was very helpful to go on plant tours and learn how the different High companies operate. It was also fun hanging out with the other interns and getting to know everybody.
Shawn M.: I would highly suggest applying for internships. The opportunities and knowledge that you can gain before you even start your career are endless. I am so grateful for the opportunity that High has given me and to have attained this full-time position after graduation.
Justin B.: A hands-on experience is the best way to learn. I appreciated getting involved in tasks that were immediately helpful to the company rather than the stereotypical intern assignments. I was not rushed into tasks that I was a novice in. My supervisor and co-workers were willing to explain things to me and provide me with assistance.
Also, the intern events add value to the experience in ways that most companies could not. Having lunch with CEO Mike Shirk was a highlight!