MLSoC students use classroom learning during summer internships

Students in the Myers-Lawson School of Construction are putting their classroom skills to the test out in the field this summer. Follow along throughout the summer as we show you some of the internships our students are taking part in.

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Gema Guerra, Construction Engineering and Management

Engineering Intern, Whiting-Turner

Gema is spending the summer in Leesburg, VA working on the  Data Center Project for Whiting-Turner (WT).

As an intern, she is learning about geological safety precautions and testing, Bluebeam and jobsite logistics. She says her Intro to Construction Engineering and Management and Geology classes helped prepare her for this internship. 

Her day-to-day job duties include quality reports, safety inspections, safety reports, writing Requests for Information (RFIs), submittals, communicating with subcontractors for security clearance, punch-lists, certificates of insurance (COIs), daily journaling and more.

She first learned of the company through her dad and while participating in a Hispanic Society of Professional Engineers resume workshop. "A WT employee revised my resume with me and told about the company, his kindness and aid gave a good impression of the company," Gema said. She interview for the position after the Construction Industry Career Fair, which she recommends everyone attend.

Zack Feldman, Building Construction 

Engineer Intern, Turner Construction

Zack is spending the summer close to home in Fort Lauderdale, FL. he is working with Turner construction on their FLL Delta T2 Modernization project.

As an intern, he is working on closeout submittals, punch list, change orders, Requests for Information (RFIs), submittals, transmittals and Rough Order of Magnitude estimates (ROMs). He says his construction principles helped prepare his for this work.

He's also been able to see how the company is pulling off a $150M project in an active airport terminal.


Claudia Morgan, Building Construction

Intern, Baker Concrete

Claudia is spending her summer in Nashville, TN working on the Nashville Yards Project for Baker Concrete.

As an intern, her daily responsibilities include shadowing the Project Manager and Assistant Project Manager, writing Requests for Information (RFIs), reviewing shop drawings, helping with submittals and assisting with various tasks. "I’m learning about all of the tasks that need to be completed in order to stay ahead of schedule because concrete is what drives the entire project," said Claudia.

She says her Construction Principles class helped give her the tools she needed for a successful internship.

"Baker is well respected in the industry, and they are known for their outstanding company culture," said Claudia. "After meeting some members of Baker at the ASC Competition in the Fall of 2021, I decided their internship program would be the best one to help prepare me to work full time in the industry."

Antonio Min Jae Lee, Building Construction

Superintendent, SRC, Inc.

Antonio is staying on campus with his work with Suburban Remodeling Corporation. He is working on the English Field Baseball Pitching Lab. After interning with the company last summer, he's been working part time for them during the semester and full time during breaks.

He has been able to learn about ground up new construction with his daily tasks which include: cultivating relationships and communicating with clients, the project team, and subcontractors, maintaining a safe working environment, reviewing project documents, working with subcontractors, coordinating  inspections, performing daily job site walks and conducting safety meetings and project staff meetings.

On this job site, there's an unlikely hazard - the Virginia Tech Baseball Team. "I am learning how to dodge baseballs, said Antonio. "The job site is right next to English Baseball Field, and they practice during the day, so at least 30 balls make it to the job site."

He credits his Construction Practice and Integrated Construction courses with helping to prepare his for the job.

Elliot Arking, Building Construction

Structural BIM/VDC Intern, Burns Engineering

Elliot is spending his summer close to his home in Philadelphia, PA working on a variety of projects for Burns Engineering as a Structural BIM/VDC Intern.

He works under the BIM Manager and other structural engineers to quickly and accurately complete shop drawings and 3D models of the many different projects. Each day he is learning more about AutoCAD and Revit, specifically sheet sets and documentation. He's also been learning more about a 300 person company works and handles its individual jobs.

Elliot's classwork in IT in Design and Construction as well as Integrated Construction helped prepare him for the internship and eventually the discipline he plans to go into after graduation.


Eric Prokosch, Building Construction

Field Engineer, Project Manager, Estimator Internship, Branch Builds

Eric is working up the road from Blacksburg this summer in Roanoke, VA as part of Branch Build's Field Engineer, Project Manager, Estimator Internship Program. He's working on the Roanoke Memorial Hospital expansion of the Crystal Springs Tower.

His day-to-day duties include contacting subcontractors, daily site inspections, Request for Information (RFI) reviews, drawing reviews, updating subcontractor licenses, scheduling maintenance/printouts, and manual labor when needed. He credits his Building Systems Tech class with preparing him for the role.

Eric says he's also expanding his skills in project management, leadership, public speaking and communication as well as learning more of the jargon and technical knowledge of the healthcare construction industry.

"The Crystal Springs project is an incredibly large and diverse project that allows us as interns to get exposure to many sides of the construction industry at once," Eric says.

Aaron Rivera, Construction Engineering and Management

Construction Intern, Sauer Inc.

Aaron is working with Sauer, Inc. this summer as a Construction Intern working at the Yorktown Naval Base on Ordnance Magazines for Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC).

Each day he tests electrical grounding work, fills out reports and updates schedules. Aaron has been learning more about construction planning programs, testing grounding embeds, communicating with subcontractors, reading specs, different processes of heavy civil work and concrete and rebar work.

"The opportunity was very interesting, the type of work my company does is what I want to go into (federal), and I like the atmosphere of the company," said Aaron.

He found the opportunity through the Construction Industry Career Fair.

Ethan Teng, Building Construction

Virtual Design Coordinator, Brasfield & Gorrie

This summer Ethan is working as a Virtual Design Coordinator for Brasfield & Gorrie in Greenville, South Carolina. He's working on several projects including Clemson Women’s Sport Facility Expansion, Prologis Shopton Ridge East, AnMed Hospital and Liberty Hayes Barton Place.

Each day he works on coordination, logistic site plans, drone capturing, 3D modeling and more where he is learning more about software such as Lumion, Bluebeam and Navisworks.

Ethan talked with the company during the fall Construction Industry Career Fair after hearing of the company's reputation for projects like the Atlanta Braves field and ones in his home city of Nashville, TN.

Ben Schmitt, Building Construction

Foreman, YUGO Ministries

Ben is spending the summer in Ensenada, Mexico as a foreman for YUGO ministries as they work to build housing for families in need.

He is spending his days leading jobsites and crews in all aspects of the build including: framing, drywall, roofing, and electric. He says his second semester Construction Principles with Professor Thomas Mills course prepared him for the position.

This summer, Ben is learning more how to leading multiple teams on a jobsite, as well as organization and worksite flow for the most efficient building process.

"[I'm] not only learning and getting experience, but getting to serve and work along side families in need of shelter and a home," Ben said.


Connor Hetman, Building Construction

Construction Intern, HITT

Connor is in Washington, D.C. for the summer at the HITT headquarters. He is working on punchlist items for a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) for Leidos in Alexandria, VA, but he says the majority of his time has been working on budgets for bidding on new work.

Each day he is responsible for collecting close out documents from subcontractors for the Operations and Maintenance manual, creating agendas and minutes for Owner-Architect-Contractor (OAC) meetings, doing quantity takeoffs with Bluebeam, and contacting subcontractors to get estimates to put together budgets and site logistics plans for different bids.

"I wanted to be in the office doing project management work," said Connor.

While in the office, he's learned software like Bluebeam and the accounting that goes into billing clients at different stages of the job.

"I am essentially working in preconstruction and project management at the same time, so I have enjoyed learning how to go through a set of plans and scope it out to see all the different materials we need and then going through and calculating how much of each material we need to make sure that the numbers we get from our subcontractors are accurate," Connor said. 

Hunter Elizabeth Armstrong, Building Construction & Real Estate

Engineering Intern, Mortenson

Hunter is spending her third summer with Mortenson. This time she is working as an Engineering Intern in State College, PA on the Lasch Football Facility and Weight Room Expansion.

Her daily responsibilities include Pre-Task Planning (PTPs), safety and quality checks, submittals and Request for Information (RFIs), continuous observations. She is helping with furniture and weight room equipment procurement and all interior coordination between trades as well as bidding and procurement for the second phase of the project.

"A large focus for this project is coordination and timing," said Hunter "We are working hard to finish the project, which makes for busy days. I have been able to learn how to manage and prioritize my tasks on a daily, and sometimes an hourly, basis."

She was able to prepare for that work through her integrated courses. "I am focusing a lot on prep for phase two of the project, so knowing what to look for in contracts, how to navigate bid meetings with trade partners, and the overall expectations for the project requirements," Hunter said.

She received this internship offer after her last summer with the company. Hunter credits the interesting projects, supporting atmosphere and smart employees with what keeps her coming back.

Trevor Hickman, Building Construction

Project Engineer, Morgan-Keller Construction

Trevor is working as a Project Engineer this summer for Morgan-Keller Construction in Frederick, MD on the Ellume project.

This is Trevor's second year with the company and this summer he is learning more about HVAC, ceiling tile installation, pulling wire, plumbing, and steel installation. Each day he is filling out daily logs, taking and uploading pictures of the site, using forklift equipment and more.

He says his Construction Principles course prepared him for the role.



Joseph Giordano, Construction Engineering and Management

Project Engineer Intern, Davis Construction

Joseph is working with Davis Construction as a Project Engineer Intern in Upper Marlboro, MD on the SFL3 project.

He says his Integrated Construction II class prepared him for his daily job duties of organizing meetings, conducting toolbox talks, providing information regarding the construction of the project to the subcontractors, reaching out to subcontractors and project managers, requesting documents be submitted and more.

Joseph is learning more about how to be a great leader, stay organized and on top of daily tasks.

He says he was able to find the position through the Fall Construction Industry Career Fair.

Nikolai Clayton, Building Construction

Construction Intern, Bozzuto

Nikolai is working on the mixed-use development project in Silver Spring, MD with Bozzuto.

He says each day is different, but he's been able to work on quality takeoffs (QTO's) for underground utilities, developing and distributing scope of work, receiving bids, awarding work to subcontractors and request for information reports (RFIs). He's also been learning more about bid leveling, developing scope of work, reading plans, and interior/exterior mark-up development.

Nikolai says his Construction Principles II class prepared him for the role.

He says the company's reputation preceded them and he knew some people with the company. After meeting with them at the Fall Career Fair, he landed the position!

Kaleigh Tyler, Building Construction

Project Management Intern, Lee Building Company & Piedmont Concrete Contractors

Kaleigh is working with Lee Building Company & Piedmont Concrete Contractors as a Project Management Intern this summer in both Charlottesville working on the Bonumose facility and the Virginia Tech Undergraduate Laboratory in Blacksburg.

Her daily responsibilities include performing daily Job Hazard Analysis (JHA), completing tasks according to the drawings, and maintaining a safe and clean job site. She says her Construction Principles course prepared her for the job. She's also learning more about budgeting, contract types, managing a large crew on a busy job site, and the detailed processes of construction.

This is Kaleigh's second summer with Lee Building Company. "I loved working with them last summer and felt that I would get a more diverse experience working with both the trades group and general contractor this summer," she says.

Jacob Brown, Construction Engineering and Management

Construction Management Intern, Brayman Construction Corporation

Jacob is once again spending the summer with Brayman Construction Corporation as a Construction Management Intern on the D13 Bridge Replacements over the South Fork of the Holston River in Wytheville, VA.

His daily duties include concrete quality control, compiling submittals for VDOT, performing takeoffs, soliciting quotes, putting together purchase orders, contract administration, keeping track of equipment and labor time, putting together professional service agreements, monitoring jobs costs and timelines, scheduling look-aheads and communicating with field and office staff.

He credits his Construction Law and Contract Administration with preparing him. "[It] is the single most useful class that can be directly applied to the work that I am doing, Jacob said. "In almost all cases, companies and their managers don't understand how contracts work or are put together and it plays in our company's favor more often than not."

This isn't Jacob's first time working with the company. He's been with them since his Freshman year. Each day he's learning more about the different portions of how to manage contracts that are put into place between different companies as well as getting to take on greater roles and responsibilities in putting together legal documents.

"The atmosphere is good for harvesting those who are willing to take on more and aim for building a solid reputation in everything they do. They give me as much room to work as they think I can handle and are always there to guide me along the way," Jacob said.

Ryan Vogt, Construction Engineering and Management

Field Engineer and Superintendent Intern, Branch Builds

Ryan is staying on campus this summer working as Field Engineer and Superintendent Intern on the Dietrick Hall Renovation for Branch Builds.

Each day, he works on safety inspections, concrete and University Building Official inspections, Request for Information (RFIs), subcontractor communication and meetings, and general site management. Beyond the technical skills, Ryan says he's being brought into managerial discussions with Branch supervisors, representative owners, and collaborators from Virginia Tech where he's learning how to keep a construction site moving smoothly.

"The ability to supervise all of the subcontractors in the field has been an incredible opportunity to learn many of the “hands on” aspects of the construction industry," Ryan says.

Ryan first got to know the company while working as a subcontractor for D.H. Griffin Wrecking Company. While there, he built his network with the superintendents at Branch.

Owen Butz, Construction Engineering and Management

Project Engineer, George Harms Construction Company

Owen is spending his second year with George Harms Construction Company as they work on the Raritan River Bridge Replacement in Perth Amboy, NJ.

His daily tasks include: material procurement and tracking, inventory management and submittals. Aside from the technical work, he's also been able to learn about the connection between the office management/administrative side and the physical construction process.

"The company self performs almost all of the work which provides a great opportunity to learn all aspects of the construction process," Owen said. "The project has kept me interested because with a project scale this large there’s always something new going on."

Owen says his Construction Estimating and Scheduling course best prepared him for the position.

Claire Wright, Construction Engineering and Management

Summer Associate, Clark Construction

Claire is spending her summer in Rockville, MD working with Clark Construction on 915 Meeting Street - a 16 story office core and shell with 3 levels of below grade parking, 3 levels above grade parking, fitness center and penthouse.

Her daily duties include submittals, MEP production tracking, gross billings, on site off structure exterior mock up coordination and non-compliance tracking log.

She's learning more about the importance of the flow of information between the general contractor and trade partners as well as MEP coordination and trade partner responsibilities.

"Clark does a great job making sure all parties involved are informed of what needs to happen on a daily basis," Claire says.

She met with the company during the Construction Industry Career Fair, but says the company's reputation and involvement in different types of projects drew her in.

"They also offer many outside of work opportunities for interns such as a summer long capstone project and social events in DC," she says.

Frank McGuire, Building Construction

Project Engineer Intern, DPR Construction

Frank is in his home-state for the summer working as a Project Engineer Intern with DPR on the Digital Realty - Bloomberg Data Center project in Edison, NJ.

His team is in the final phase and closeout process of the project, so his daily duties include collecting, organizing, and submitting key project documents (such as Subcontractor/Equipment Warranty Letters, Critical Assets Log, LEED Submittal Log, and Closeout Documentation); preparing agendas, documents, meeting minutes, and actions for owner/architect/contractor final meetings, subcontractor coordination meetings, and staff meetings; participating in project cost control and final closeout; maintaining internal records and working with subcontractors to make sure change orders are documented and all punch-list items are complete.

"The class that I believe prepared me most for this internship was Integrated Construction III taught by Professor Lally," Frank said. "The course is structured to simulate your class group as a general contractor."

This summer, he says he is learning more about the key roles and responsibilities of the Project Management team for the closeout phase of a project which includes making sure the work that is complete matches project requirements so the owners can take over the building. He's also learning more about closeout documentation which handles all documentation detailing each stage of the project, financial documentation including final change orders, and documentation of what each involved entity has completed.

Frank first talked with the company during the Spring Construction Industry Career Fair. After talking with the representatives from the Richmond office, he got an offer to work closer to home.

"I chose DPR Construction because it is one of the most successful and fastest growing general contractors in the construction business. DPR specializes in projects for advanced technology, life sciences, healthcare, higher education and commercial markets," Frank said. "These projects are built to serve and assist the people of our society, which excites me that I am apart of a company that focuses on building these key projects. What also makes DPR Construction a superior company is that they truly value their employees, customers, and partners"

Gene Flecker, Construction Engineering and Management

Construction Management Intern, Turner Construction

Gene is spending his third summer with Turner Construction working for them as a Construction Management Intern in Roanoke, VA on the Project Brook Trout Data Center.

He says his Integrated Construction II with Philip Agee prepared him for his daily duties of managing site work, mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) coordination, logistics management, transmittals, writing critical safety plans, performing schedule updates, managing environmental risk, punch list creation, warranty work, and commissioning.

"It's what I love to do. Every day is a new challenge for us to work through," Gene said. "My coworkers at Turner have a wealth of knowledge. The company has always looked out for me."

Anthony Quinones, Construction Engineering and Management

Project Engineer Intern, Harkins Builders Inc.

Anthony is in York, PA this summer working on the Homes at Thackston Park II Project as a Project Engineer Intern with Harkins Builders Inc.

His daily tasks include: daily and weekly safety inspections, tracking construction progress, coordinating site logistics, reviewing submittals and Requests for Information (RFI's), and performing masonry, concrete and framing inspections. Aside from the technical work, he's learning more about conflict resolution, attention to detail, teamwork, and time management.

He first learned about the company through a classroom presentation and reached out to the company.

"The family atmosphere was evident right from the beginning," Anthony said. "In addition to being one of the top general contractors on the east coast, Harkins fosters a community centered around relationships with one another. Harkins employees truly make it their mission to not only serve their clients well, but also their community.

Jennifer Lopez-Perez, Building Construction

Intern, DAVIS Construction

Jennifer is spending her summer in Arlington, VA working on the Century Center I+II project as an Intern for DAVIS Construction,

Each day, she is shadowing the Project Manager and Superintendent as well as working on Quality Control for Windows (QC), daily safety walks, communicating with subcontractors, creating punch list items, and assisting with Requests for Information (RFI's).

"I'm learning about the importance of the relationships between the office side and field side of a General Contractor (GC) as well as the importance of relationships between subcontractors and GC's, especially Superintendents as they interact with them the most on site," Jennifer said.

Abbie Vancini, Construction Engineering and Management

Construction Intern, HITT Contracting

Abbie is spending the summer as a Construction Intern working out of HITT's headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the ICF Headquarters project in Reston, VA. The ICF Headquarters is an eight-story, 171,880 square foot interior tenant fit out and roof terrace within a 15 story high rise located at the Reston Metro Station as part HITT’s Corporate Interiors sector.

"I spend most of my time out on site and the rest of the time I spend in office, but I love getting exposed to the project management side and site operations at the same time," Abbie said. "It’s truly been such a well-rounded and rewarding summer as we see the project progress."

Her daily duties include: contacting subcontractors for closeout documents; prepunch on-site, material and floor level tracking; floor plan markups in BlueBeam; capturing OpenSpace; Requests for Information (RFIs'); submittals and observations in Procore; and Owner-Architect-Contractor and subcontractor meetings.

She says her Intro to CEM class helped prepare her for the role. While talking to the company during the Construction Industry Career Fair, the company's team culture stood out to her the most.

Max Hafer, Construction Engineering and Management

Project Engineer, Kjellstrom and Lee Inc.

Max is staying in Blacksburg working for Kjellstrom and Lee Inc. as a Project Engineer on the Data and Decision Science Building on Virginia Tech's campus.

His daily activities include: attend weekly meetings; communicate to subcontractors, project managers, and superintendents; assist project engineer with Requests for Information (RFI's); make completion list in Bluebeam; and work with carpenters.

"[This] is a large and complex project. It allows me to get exposure to many different aspects of the construction industry at once," Max said. "I enjoy that I get to leave my mark on campus for many years to come."


Daniel Tempone, Construction Engineering and Management

Intern, Power Design

Daniel is spending the summer as an Intern working on the Wharf Parcel 8 and 9 projects in St. Petersburg, FL for Power Design.

He's learning more about electrical work through his daily responsibilities including material orders, take-offs and coordination. He says his Building Systems and Integrated classes preapred him for the role.

While he talked to the company during the Construction Industry Career Fair, he says it was the company culture and experience that stood out to him the most.