Construction Management Student Stories
Lexis Carson Sandy Aufermann Peyton Huddleston
Upon entering the Construction Management program at EMU I was greeted with professors in each class who were incredibly knowledgeable of multiple aspects of the construction industry who were always eager to do what they can to help us students succeed. This was shown both in and out of class through arranged opportunities such as the fall and winter career fair, volunteer projects, scheduled presentations from visiting companies, and other experiences. For me, being a woman of color in the program, I felt very seen and accepted as diversity was always celebrated and embraced and I was even able to be a part of the Women In Construction student group (The then sister group to the CM program's Eastern Constructors) that was led by one of the professors.
These on-campus opportunities for growth led to wonderful work opportunities, as due to the certifications I've earned from the courses here (30-hour OSHA, AIC Level 1, ACI Concrete Level 1, Procore), I've was able to confidently land an internship that led me into my current position as a Construction Supervisor for U of M.
I'll forever be indebted to the opportunities the CM program has given me and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to be a part of the largest industry in the world!
“Hire Education”, a mantra that our Eastern Construction Management professors lived by. To this day, I receive emails from old professors about job and internship opportunities. Our annual career fair which was tailored specifically to construction management students not only exposes you to some of the most prominent names in the industry; but also sets you up for success with a career after graduation.
Personally, I look at it this way, if the dean of the College Of Technology knows you on a first name basis and will take time to tutor you on a Construction Structures problem that you were struggling with as he passes you in the hallway, then you have a successful program! Most programs rarely have a tutor, let alone faculty who is this invested in their student’s success.
Working in the construction industry has always been a dream of mine. Construction is one of the most dynamic industries that offers ample of opportunities to be involved in projects of national significance. I am very grateful to the Professors of the Construction Management (CM) program for the knowledge, support and practical skills provided.
I joined the Construction Management program at the Eastern Michigan University in 2016. During my first year in the program, I wanted to be more actively involved in extracurricular activities. For that reason, I joined the Eastern Constructors student group as the Vice President. Through Eastern Constructors I had the chance to get involved in many outreach activities, heavy-civil competitions, golf outings, and career fairs. These activities definitely helped me understand and connect with the construction professionals better, and I am glad that I could be a part of it, making a positive impact.
I would like to emphasize the high quality of teaching at CM program that has helped me succeed in my full-time job (bridge construction) and in my graduate studies. Since many Professors in CM program have experience working in construction industry, students get valuable real-life advice on how to succeed in a professional career.
Because of the help from the EMU CM Department, I am now in a position to pursue any future I want, and what once was dream has now become a reality.
Harold S. Wilcox III, an Eastern Constructor Alumni. I had the opportunity to serve as the Treasurer throughout my undergraduate program, complete seven construction related internships and connect with a lot of companies and professionals that all helped contribute to establish the foundation for my construction career. I am very passionate about construction related work. I enjoy learning new and innovative techniques within the field to help contribute towards a sustainable future.
One of the unique community-related opportunities that I had the pleasure to work on with the Eastern Constructors was the "Design, Manage, Build" course with the Eastern Constructors Student Group Gazebo projects in Fall semesters of 2013 and 2014, for the Ann Arbor Housing Commission. In the process of completing these projects I learned hands on estimating, scheduling, planning, and building of a construction project. Following the completion of our Gazebo project in 2013 the Eastern Constructors were published in the Ann Arbor newspaper about the great work that we performed for the community. This gazebo project was the spark in my career that developed of passion for construction projects that make communities better and more sustainable.
In the academic year of 2014-2015, I was awarded several scholarships: the John A. Weeks award, Construction Alumni award, Joe O’Neal award and EMU Endowed scholarship awards. During this time frame of being successful in scholarship awards, I shared the knowledge with my fellow colleagues to help them be successful as well, which opened the platform for the development of a mentoring program helping students to be successful in both scholarships and internships. For the Eastern Constructors student group, I networked with several construction companies and coordinated guest speaker events for the student group. Being an active student and engaging in extracurricular activities helped me land my first internship/co-op at SME as a Laboratory Engineering Co-op.
In the summer of 2015, I worked for Cadillac Asphalt as a Assistant Project Manager Intern. During the time of my internship with Cadillac, I was performed very well in estimating/bidding, superintending and working with the paving crews. Cadillac nominated me into HCSS “Construction Intern of the Year” awards for 2015. Cadillac also referred me to several scholarships and organizations in the pavement industry and recognized me as a future leader of the pavement industry. during the Fall of 2015 I was awarded a scholarship from the Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan and my project team had won the "Project of Excellence" for the test track we paved at the GM Proving Grounds. In regards to the HCSS Intern of the Year award, I placed top 20 finalist in the United States, EMU was the only school within construction management that represented the State of Michigan. To be considered on a national level in the construction industry was a huge win for both myself and EMU.
In the academic year of 2015-16, I was awarded several scholarships, the American General Contractors of Michigan Best & Brightest award, EMU Student Leader award, Peggy & Bill Moylan award and the Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan award. I also started a Engineering Co-op with DTE Energy, which I work with the construction management of renewable energy sources such as wind turbines and solar arrays as noted on my resume. In the fall semester of 2015, the Eastern Constructors went to the “ASC National Estimating Competition”. I was appointed the captain of the heavy civil team which would estimate a heavy civil project. Our team gave our best efforts and learned a lot, although we didn't place in the competition. As the captain of our group, I helped highlight the areas that we did do well in and gave our team words of encouragement and together as Eastern Constructors we recognized that we actually did win by learning how to work together as a team.
In November 2015, made a connection with “Habitat for Humanity” residential construction department to coordinate with the Eastern Constructors. The dream was to help the freshman and sophomores that have no construction related experience, gain experience. In addition to gaining the experience, they would be helping communities, building up their own character and resume. My professors were proud that I reached out and made a connection that may not only be beneficial for the Construction Management program, but the College of Technology. In the construction management program it is good to think both inside and outside of the box, for ways that I can make myself better and others. My work experience performing three internships has helped me, be able to teach others how to pass interviews, critique their resumes and network in the construction industry.
As an Eastern Constructor Alumni, I enjoy the opportunity to continue to give back to participating the Eastern Constructor Mentor program, recruiting students from high schools and performing guest speaker series the signature "Prep for College" presentation that covers how to be successful in scholarships, internships and shares the best practices while pursuing a college degree. It is the Eastern Constructor way to learn as much as you can, and give back as much as you receive.