Discussion Thread

  • 1.  New Student Member seeking guidance

    Posted 07-21-2022 11:28 AM
    Hello everyone!

    I wanted to take a moment and introduce myself; I'm Jes a Construction Management student at Rowan University. I am delighted to join ASCE with hopes of connecting and developing solid relationships with fellow members as well as joining in on your open discussions to gain more insight about our industry. With that being said, I'd like to ask if anyone is interested in sharing advice on landing internship and entry-level opportunities as I continue to pursue my degree? I am just shy of a year left for graduation and although I have applied and reached out to various firms and small businesses for hands on experience. I have yet to connect with an opportunity. All feedback is welcome, thank you!

    All the best,

    Jesenia Matias S.M.ASCE
    Bensalem PA

  • 2.  RE: New Student Member seeking guidance

    Posted 07-21-2022 02:14 PM
    Welcome to ASCE!

    Below is a resource you may find helpful, and I'm sure our members have some great advice they can share with you as well


    Heidi C. Wallace, P.E., M.ASCE
    Tulsa, OK

  • 3.  RE: New Student Member seeking guidance

    Posted 07-22-2022 10:02 AM

    Many mid- to large-size construction firms have dedicated intern programs for college students, and they're often a pipeline for permanent hires (they know what they're getting based on the internship).  They often ramp up for the spring-summer-fall construction season so you may have missed that window (they start taking applications after Christmas and New Years).  Still, it's worth looking into.  Larger firms often work on bigger projects that need a lot of manpower at all experience levels.  I'm not sure if you're looking to get into the transportation construction business or the buildings end of construction.

    You might also try your state DOT and even county and city engineering departments.  Some have intern positions in their budgets and they may also have a number of entry level tasks related to construction oversight and observations that are perfect for interns.

    If you haven't already, try your school's placement department - they can be very helpful and have good contacts.  Also, consider looking geographically in warmer/southern areas if you're hitting too many dead ends - construction is obviously less seasonal in warmer climates.  One of my son's friends was a construction management major - he worked one or two internships in the Cleveland (OH) area and one or two additional ones in one of the southern states, and he relocated after graduation for a position in one of the southeastern states.

    Good luck!

    Greg Thein, PE
    Cleveland, OH

  • 4.  RE: New Student Member seeking guidance

    Posted 07-24-2022 09:41 PM
    Hello Jes,

    I am Alexander Granato, a Civil Engineering graduate of The Ohio State University, and Master's student of Statistics-Analytics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I have not yet been hired for paid work at any companies, but I have been working for both universities for years.

    Have you been reaching out to companies and people you have met with at career fairs? I have been keeping track of all of them using both all the business cards I have asked for, and Notepads containing all of the names, and what kinds of applications I have sent in. I also use dates to mark when I sent them, and when I heard back from them regarding anything from an interview to a rejection.

    Where else have you been filling out job applications? Due to the amount and relevance of my job experiences, I had also been applying to on-campus work I was suited for. That was how I obtained two part-time jobs during my time as a student at OSU; I filled out eight job applications for on-campus work, one of which had little competition; and the other was given to me over my handling of a difficult class in a certain semester.

    And lastly, do you have multiple forms of resumes? I have one for engineering positions, and one for IT positions, along with a third that serves as a compilation of all activates that could belong on a resume.

    Alexander Granato A.M.ASCE
    Bexley OH

  • 5.  RE: New Student Member seeking guidance

    Posted 07-25-2022 01:26 PM
    Hi Jes,

    Nice to see a fellow Prof on the forums. I graduated from Rowan in 2013, (and again about a year later). 
    Things have clearly changed around Rowan - when I was a student there, there were only 4 engineering programs offered (civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical). I think construction management was offered as a masters program, but certainly not an undergraduate degree. Anyway, here are my thoughts from when I was a student there.
    1. The engineering outreach director always did a great job of sending out job opportunities. They used to arrive in your student daily mail. If you aren't seeing those, it might be a good idea to talk to the outreach department and figure out if they are still posting them, and learn what you need to do to see them.
    2. Occasionally industry professionals would come to different classes or speak at ASCE student chapter events on friday mornings (I know, not the time you want to get up to go to them). Those should be posted to your email as well, or at least were when I was a student. 
    3. Rowan had at least 2 career fairs per year when I was a student. Its never a bad idea to go and talk to a few different companies to try to learn who the players are in the area and what kind of work they are involved in. Of course, given Rowan's location proximate to Philly, NY, etc, there will be tons of more companies than who appear at the career fair, but it never hurts to try and get some names in your head. 
    4. This may also seem obvious, but make as many friends in class as you can. If they already have an internship lined up, they can at least give you the name of where they are working. When I was a student, our class sizes were 20-30 students and we all knew each other. Even after school ended, I've helped old classmates find new opportunities, and have been approached by other classmates who offered to send me positions as well. 
    Despite all that, I was also a student who didn't find any internships via those routes. Instead, I was enrolled in an environmental engineering course and one of our assignments was to find out where our local town's trash was dumped. I emailed a person on my city council and he responded with his work email (an engineering firm). I asked if he needed an intern for the summer, and he said no.  However, a few weeks later, he reached back out and informed me that they did need extra support that summer after all. Don't be afraid to ask your own questions and stumble across some surprise opportunities. 

    I learned a lot at that internship but most importantly also learned a lot about what I didn't want to do after school. This is a long-winded way to say to not be afraid to apply for things a little outside your wheelhouse as a student. You never know if you might end up liking (or learning to avoid) something once you're ready to chase down full-time work. 

    Please feel free to reach out if you have any other questions. Good luck to you.

    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer

  • 6.  RE: New Student Member seeking guidance

    Posted 08-08-2022 10:49 AM
    Hello everyone,

    Thank you for sharing suggestions and personal experiences. It lessens the emotion of feeling I may be the only one who ever felt like I was drowning while pursing a career in /construction/engineering. I am happy to report I've landed an internship with the Emcor group. 

    I look forward to the skills and experiences I am hopeful to gain. 

    Please do continue to share any additional inspirational and inspiring advice, recommendations to continue seeking on my way to the top.

    All the best!

    Jesenia Matias S.M.ASCE
    Bensalem PA