Company: Jaynes Corporation
School: New Mexico State University
Major: Bachelor of Business Administration - Project and Supply Chain Management
Internship Dates: 8/15/2018 — 4/1/2020
Tell us about yourself and why you chose to do an internship in construction.
For the last 14 months, I have been very blessed to work and continue working as a Project Engineer Intern for Jaynes Corporation while pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Project and Supply Chain Management at New Mexico State University. My construction internship has been an absolute life-changing opportunity for me, and I have completely fallen in love with the construction industry.
My construction journey dates to my earliest memories as a child when my father would arrive home on the weekends from working hard as a Union Journeymen Carpenter in different parts of the United States during the week, mostly in New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado. My father introduced my younger brother and me to construction while we were children. He taught us the basics of carpentry at a very young age and would take us to complete “side jobs” with him on the weekends and even took us out of town with him while he worked coincidentally for my current firm, Jaynes Corporation as a subcontractor. From these experiences, as a child, my interest in construction was born and I was taught to always have a very strong work ethic whether it be in school, sports, or life in general. Moving forward, I was about 12 years old when my father was hired on by Jaynes Corporation as a carpenter and once again, he took me with him to fill out some paperwork for Human Resources and I found myself lost in the corporate office looking at all the construction plans full of imagination. I was completely fascinated by everything and I distinctively remember my father saying, “one day that office will be yours “jokingly. With all these experiences I can honestly say my father has been my biggest inspiration to go into the construction industry.
Besides construction, I come from a close-knit family of five which includes myself, my parents; Mario and Deedee and my younger siblings; Ethan and Leah. I grew up in a small farming community located in the town of Peralta which is nestled between Albuquerque, NM, and Los Lunas, NM. As a child, I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes which has been a challenge but, has not been able to stop me from achieving my goals as I have successfully managed the disease while playing sports and excelling in academics. My father founded a non-profit organization for the community’s “at-risk” youth in 2008 called TNT Boxing, where I spent a lot of time as a tutor and student mentor. My family has funded this program since its founding, so finances have always been limited as my parents strive to impact the community. I knew that I had to help my parents limit the cost of my education, so I made the promise to myself that I would work hard to save money and earn as many scholarships to pay for my way through college and stay debt-free. With this as my goal, I worked hard and graduated from high school with a 4.1 GPA and decided to attend New Mexico State University being that they offered the highest value of education for the lowest price.
Upon entering college, I knew that I had to make the most of every opportunity that came my way and that the decisions I made in college would end up affecting my life in some way, shape or, form. Being a first-generation college student, I felt there was a chip on my shoulder. I wanted to make my family proud and best prepare myself for my future career in construction management. Being that there was no distinct Construction Management program at my university I chose to go into Project and Supply Chain Management as I saw that it would equip me with tools to manage financials, schedules, and improve my overall managerial skills. As my freshman fall-semester ended I knew that I needed to gain some real-world experience in construction to make up for the lack of construction education at my university. Upon this realization, I began my search for an internship in construction management that I could find. This search lasted up until March of 2018. Around this time, I was unsuccessful in landing any sort of interview as I searched through the internet, visiting various construction offices, and utilizing my connections. I was desperate for any construction management related internship whether it be paid or unpaid. I felt defeated but hopeful that my opportunity was still out there. I knew I needed to find something before summer beginning so that I could give this internship my full focus once my academic year ended in May.
I was on spring break that March and I decided to go home to help my dad around the farm and visit some local contractors in Albuquerque, NM. I had the idea of applying at Jaynes Corporation where my father worked but, I feared to put my dad in a position to ask for a job for me. This was due to my dad not being involved in the construction management side of things being that he was a “field carpenter”. With Jaynes Corporation being one of the largest general contractors’ in New Mexico I also feared rejection and feared that if I was rejected it may change the way my father felt about his work. This proved not to be the case at all. While I was home that week, I decided to take my father's lunch, and coincidentally he was working on a small project at the Jaynes Corporate Office. As we sat there eating on the back of his tailgate we conversed about the school, my internship search, and overall life. Once we finished, I waited for my father to go back to work and I had the sudden urge to go into the office and talk to anyone about the possibility of being an intern. I made sure my father had no idea I went in and proceeded to walk in and talk to the first person I saw. Coincidentally this person ended up being a Project Manager for the self-perform department. Armed with my resume’ and desperation for any experience I went ahead and asked if there was any possibility of me being an intern for Jaynes. For that split second between asking and receiving a response felt like an eternity. Luckily, that project manager saw something in me and interviewed me on the spot. I later received a call from him saying that they could use me for the summer. I firmly believe everything happened the way it did for a reason and I caught my father off guard when I told him where I would be interning for the summer.
This internship was the best experience I could have ever asked for and it taught me more than I could’ve imagined. Luckily Jaynes Corporation had a few projects in Las Cruces, and I was asked to continue my internship following a successful summer that was jam-packed full of projects on the self-perform end. As a school approached, I arranged my class schedule to accommodate a 40-hour workweek and have been working full-time as a Project Engineer Intern while attending college as a “full-time” student, which I continue to do to this day. This has proved to be very difficult but overall, has improved my time management and has even improved my cumulative GPA to a 3.5. This mix of full-time work and the school has given me the tools to learn in class and apply that learning at work. It is a sort of mutualistic relationship. Overall, I am most blessed because I can excel at school while working hard outside of the classroom to become a better more equipped candidate for a construction position once I obtain my degree. With the long nights of homework, Saturday online classes, and lack of sleep I can honestly say that I love to work hard because to me construction isn’t just a job, it is my passion. I am very lucky and grateful for the opportunity’s construction has provided for me.
What are some of your proudest achievements and how did you exceed the company’s expectations for your role?
When I first started at Jaynes Corporation, a proud member of AGC (The Associated General Contractors of America), it was initially supposed to be a three-month internship that spanned from May-2018 to August-2018. After completion of my three months, I was asked to continue as an intern which has lasted up until current. This has allowed me to work for two different company divisions; Jaynes Structures and Jaynes Construction Management. Jaynes Structures is the self-perform division of Jaynes Corporation. When I began my internship, I was given the task to formalize construction processes for a company owned millwork subcontractor. The goal of this project was for me to learn, document, improve, and implement processes that included estimating, project procurement, fabrication, and install. I found great success in this as I was able to learn the very basics of construction from a smaller scale operation and better understand the point of view as a subcontractor. This role was unexpected for me because this was the first time anybody had been tasked with this duty for the millwork operation. I had to come up with a plan and work with every division of the millwork team to learn the entire millwork operation. From this, I was given a budget to select an information system to document these processes to understand where kinks in production might occur. In this, I found my first real professional accomplishment because I was able to identify inefficient processes. By the end of this first stint of my internship, I had formalized and improved seven crucial construction processes for the millwork division. My proudest being the overall submittal procurement process which much time was saved by implementing required “key” meetings between inter-department handoffs. This vastly improved overall communication within the department.
This project’s success impressed some executives within the company, I was then asked by the Project Management Director to continue as an intern but on the Construction Management side of the company. This assignment was going to be taking place just minutes from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. This time I would not be formalizing processes but would be tasked with serving as a Project Engineer for a crucial project in the Las Cruces area. This project turned out to be a $13,000,000 facility for the New Mexico National Guard that was to be fit to serve as a hub for the region’s Lakota and Blackhawk helicopters. This project was to include a 40,000 sq. ft. facility that housed administration, hangar space, weapons vault, and most importantly helipads. This project was very diverse being that there were over 40 acres of site work, a massive 42 ft. tall structure, and a lot of federal regulation. This project was to be a LEED Silver Project that was strictly monitored by the FAA and the United States Army as it was deemed “mission-critical”. This role was unexpected because it was all new to me and I felt that I was being put to the test being tasked with the management of procurement for all the project’s subcontractors which includes all submittal and RFI coordination with project architects and engineers. In addition to this, I was also tasked with being the project’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Coordinator which duties ensure that all LEED requirements are met to obtain the LEED Silver Certification.
Currently, at the 45% mark in this project my toughest challenge so far has been the hard-bid job aspect of this project, which has prompted many design changes that have to be coordinated immensely to ensure nothing is missed on our end or the subcontractors end. I am super proud being that I am on-site working in the same office as the superintendent and have been on this project since clearing and grubbing began. This project has proven to be adverse as my project management team and I have had to navigate our way through many additional permitting procedures and coordinate logistics around a known archaeological site. Even with the extra regulation, we are currently ahead of schedule and most importantly on budget. We are set to finish this project in April of 2020, and I am super proud of the hard work that has gone into this project to be where we are thus far.
There have been many personal accomplishments in this project because I felt that this was a very daunting task for an intern to take on but, with tons of hard work and proper support, I have learned how many different trades operate and perform work. With many roles, I have had many duties on this project which include checking quantities and procurement of all materials on-site, all while making sure my superintendent is properly supported. Above all, I am most proud of the relationships I have built and the safety of this project. My project team has turned into a family that has mentored me tremendously while challenging me. My site-superintendent has taught me more about actual in-field construction by routinely taking his time to show me how drawings come to life on-site. Lastly, I have built strong relationships with many subcontractors, architects, and engineers. Without all these relationships I know my performance and my project’s performance wouldn’t be where it is today.
Overall, assisting in the management of a project while attending school full-time has been very difficult but has given me a relentless work ethic. I feel I have exceeded my company’s expectations by never giving up, always challenging myself, being a leader, and most importantly not being afraid to go above and beyond.
How were you involved with safety during your internship, and how did it change your perspective of construction?
Jaynes, the company I intern for, has an outstanding reputation for safety and is a member of ACIG (American Contractors Insurance Group). Being a part of this organization has opened my eyes to how deeply rooted safety is beyond the standard personal protection equipment. From the first day I started at Jaynes, the company instilled their culture of safety within me through a rigorous safety orientation that included many videos, tests, and a personal promise that I would apply what I learned that day to our company safety director. At Jaynes, we have this saying imprinted on our company vehicles, PPE, and pretty much anything which states “Safety Brings You Home” and “How can I get hurt doing what I am doing?” These simple words are not just words to me nor my company. These are words that I have been taught to live by in the construction world. As a construction professional, I must be aware of safe and unsafe working conditions, not only for my personal safety, but the safety of everyone on my construction project. At the end of the day, we all have someone waiting for us to come home whether it be your kids, wife, parents, family, or pets. My company has extended this culture and company policy beyond the construction site by offering defensive driving courses, free CPR classes, and an at-home safety checklist. This has rubbed off on me tremendously as I have learned that everyone is working to provide for someone and that in a split second someone could be hurt. This has prompted me to not only look out for all safety concerns but, to avoid distracted driving and other safety concerns away from work. Safety isn’t just for trades working out in the field but is important to everyone on a construction site which ranges from, office staff, delivery drivers, and visitors.
Our company's safety program is very extensive with a very large staff of safety members. We are also required to perform a weekly meeting at every project called “Tool Box Talks”. The toolbox talk is a collaborative safety meeting that every person working on site is required to attend. I have had the wonderful privilege to lead many of these meetings in addition to conducting routine safety inspections on my assigned project
One first-hand experience that I can reflect on took place on my project when we were beginning the installation of structural masonry walls. I noticed that the masonry rebar lacked several rebar caps. I brought this to the attention of my site superintendent, and we were able to order 700+ rebar caps and stop everyone so that we could cap off every piece of rebar. It may not seem like a big deal but, I felt that there was a huge amount of risk being that just one slip up could result in someone falling onto a piece of rebar. The tradesmen were very appreciative that we took the time to protect them and protect ourselves. Overall it only delayed our project for six hours but, served as invaluable as we were able to proactively respond to a safety issue in a quick, efficient, and professional manner.
The importance of safety as a culture is huge and before working in construction, I would have never guessed how much of a role safety plays in this industry. I am not going to lie, it is a very dangerous line of work to be in construction especially working in the field. We as construction professionals need to be able to plan, prevent, and execute because we are responsible for the safety of ourselves, our team, the general public, and everyone down to the people in your vehicle. Safety is a way of life and I was oblivious to this before construction. Now, after being introduced to my company’s safety culture I have been enlightened and have developed a passion for protecting others. Safety has changed my perspective of construction in the way that construction is much deeper than the end product. It has a lot of camaraderies within it and I would have had no idea without participating in it. Construction is collaborative, caring, innovative, and ever-changing, which is why you can see projects go up without any lost time injuries. Safety is only one aspect of construction but, in my opinion, is the most important. It has altered the way I do things in my life and the way I look at construction. I can now understand why a road is closed for construction, why something takes so long to build, the importance of PPE, and the huge investment in safety practices. Before, I had no idea, but now it all makes sense.
How did you utilize technology or innovative practices at your internship?
As you know, construction has many moving parts that require tremendous organization and communication. During my construction internship, I have been able to use great amounts of innovating software and equipment to ease communication, project management, and ultimately build.
During my internship, I have been lucky to have some involvement in BIM (Building Information Modeling). On my project, we have used extensive amounts of BIM spearheaded by an excellent BIM team within my company. We have used BIM thus far to coordinate overhead mechanical equipment, lighting fixtures, and fire suppression systems within the structure to avoid any potential clashes. BIM allowed us to catch a clash in equipment long before that piece of equipment is installed using the CAD files provided and then exporting those files to Autodesk Revit. I was not responsible for constructing the BIM model but, being aware of how to use the BIM model and to communicate the implications of this model I was able to make necessary adjustments with our subcontractors well before it became a problem. BIM has also allowed us to coordinate many CMU openings and structural steel installation. I'd say my company operates uniquely being that we have a whole department of BIM analysts that are assigned to support each project.
In addition to BIM, I have been fortunate enough to be a part of my company's drone department. On my assigned project we have used drones extensively being that it is a very large site. We primarily use the drones to create futuristic update videos for our owners and design team. We also use drones to scan field conditions for BIM and conduct safety inspections from a bird's eye view. This October I am obtaining an FAA Drone Certification to be able to aid and expand drone operations to Southern New Mexico being that our drone department is primarily out of Albuquerque, NM.
Following drones and BIM, I have used Procore Construction Management Software and Bluebeam Software extensively. I use Procore daily to track schedules, submittal exchange, RFI's, update and house Drawings/Specifications, and manage construction financials. Procore has been a great tool and has been vital to procurement on my project. I spend most of my days in Procore reviewing submittals prior to submission and drafting various RFI's. I also have been able to use Primavera P6 Scheduling software to create and update our construction schedule with collaboration of my Site Superintendent. We are then able to export this P6 document to Procore which has been extremely helpful in maintaining our construction schedule. Lastly, I use Bluebeam to markup drawings, conduct takeoffs for material purchase, and overlay drawings to be able to identify any changes. Bluebeam has been a very beneficial tool due to its multitude of uses. With a mix of software, drones, and BIM I have been introduced to just a couple of the great technologies associated with construction. Without this software and equipment, I can confidently say that communication would be significantly harder and communication is one of, and if not, the most vital aspect of construction.
The impact of technology is huge in today's construction, it has impacted construction by making it safer, more efficient, higher quality, and faster. As companies strive for success in today's market they have to realize that technology will not stop innovating and that as an industry we have to embrace new technology to keep up with our ever-changing world that becomes more futuristic each year. I feel that technology has greatly impacted communication as there is a greater communication network and a plethora of software to aid in construction management and design. This also translates to the tools we use in-field and to manufacture which speeds up production overall. As construction becomes faster, technology will need to be able to be understood by construction professionals and tradesmen to keep up with the fast pace of technological advances. I feel that technology has impacted construction positively and will continue to do so as we progress as an industry so long as we accept, adjust, and innovate to use technology effectively. Technology has dramatically changed construction and its appearance. For example, 20 years ago, Site Superintendents were using large paper plans (which many still use and exhibit a nostalgia for me) compared to now where they are using Ipads that house everything they need from drawings to submittals. It just shows that construction is always changing but it's for the better and will only create like mentioned before, a faster, more competitive, higher quality, and safer construction world.
What did you learn during your internship that has positively affected your life?
My internship has been the most beneficial and rewarding experience of my life. Reflecting to the first day of my internship, I can firmly say that I have grown tremendously. I have not only grown as a construction professional but, as a person. This construction internship has taught me many life lessons, introduced me to some great mentors, and has developed me into a more confident and knowledgable person.
This internship has positively affected my life by offering mentors that I hold in high regard and admire. These mentors include my father who inspired me, the project manager that hired me, the project engineers who trained me, and the senior project manager and superintendent who believed in me. All of these people have been instrumental in my work success and have taught me many different life lessons.
Relationships mean everything in this world. Construction has highlighted this being a strong team environment. People appreciate it when you treat them respectfully and get to know them past their first name for the most part. This has helped me make many strong relationships in school, work, and life. In addition to relationships with people, setting challenging goals has been another life lesson I've learned that has been taught through my construction internship. I have completed things during my internship that I never thought I would be capable of. This has affected me by making me more confident in my role and comfortable in my skin. I feel very proud to talk about construction and more confident overall. Before construction, I was very shy and afraid to fail. Instead of being shy I have learned to speak up, work hard, and help others. Lastly and most importantly, I have learned to not be afraid of failure. Failure is the greatest teacher. I used to get upset with myself at the beginning of my internship. Then I realized that failure is essential to success. You need to learn from your mistakes so you know how to handle that issue once it arises again. This applies well beyond construction and has affected my life entirely.
When I first started I had no idea what I would be doing or what I would be learning. Now after being a part of my internship I have become a better person and a harder work. This internship sits close to my heart because it has given me a shot at a wonderful career and has prepared me for the professional world. This internship has introduced me to some of the hardest working individuals I have ever met and has taught me how to work hard, stay true to my values, communicate with my team, and to learn from my mistakes. The lessons learned through my internship overall, have improved my relationships with people, made me a more confident person, and given me the fundamentals to succeed in life.
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