The undergraduate construction engineering and management program (the construction concentration) at Catholic University of America includes a unique component of the curriculum that will greatly benefit the students' civil engineering studies and their future career opportunities.
Included on the yellow program tracking sheet for the construction concentration is the requirement for two full summer internships after the sophomore and junior year. In many cases, internships lead to full-time employment directly after graduation.
In particular, the two internships need to fulfill the following:
1. At least one with an actual construction or surveying company (at most one may also be in a design firm or in undergraduate research). Typical examples of work assignments for the internships are listed at the end of this document.
2. Each internship should last at least 10 weeks.
3. Each internship should be reasonably paid.
4. After each internship a report needs to be submitted (see below).
While it is required for the construction concentration to have two internships completed to graduate, it is recommended that even freshmen students and students from the other civil engineering concentrations consider finding a summer internship. A career in civil engineering will be off to a running start upon graduation when future employers are presented with these professional internships on the applicant's resume.
After conclusion of each internship, students must write a two-page single-spaced internship report. It needs to include personal contact information, where one worked, and which specific tasks were worked on. Also, it should contain personal thoughts on key items learned and how studies at CUA helped prepare for it. This report needs to be signed by the student and by an official company representative (the internship supervisor) and needs to be submitted to the academic advisor by no later than September 15 following the summer internship. Only after receiving the internship report will the academic advisor sign the yellow program tracking sheet that indicates that the requirement has been fulfilled for graduation.
Typical examples of work assignments for student internships are listed below:
· Act as a general assistant to the project onsite superintendent.
· Time keeping and cost control reporting.
· Assist with layout work and surveying.
· Assist with field testing of materials.
· Check and expedite material deliveries.
· Assist with planning and scheduling activities.
· Take notes at job coordination meetings.
· Assist with job safety meetings and records.
· Manual work under a foreman in the field (no more than four weeks total duration).
· Assist with cost engineering activities.
Preconstruction / Project Support
· Assist in estimating operations. Might include quantity takeoffs, jobsite inspections, review of plans and specifications, updating cost records, and assisting with estimating change orders.
· Assist in shop drawing and submittal reviews.
· Assist in preparation of job status reports.
· Assist in purchasing activities (vendor files, purchase requisitions, submittals, subcontractor selection, etc.).
· Assist in planning and scheduling operations (drafting, CPM diagrams, etc.)
· Assist with equipment scheduling, purchasing, and records.
· Act as assistant to the project manager.
· Assist with project planning and scheduling.
· Handle miscellaneous project tasks, such as obtaining permits and licenses, arranging for temporary utility services, etc.
· Help process change orders and extra work orders.
· Review job cost reports.
· Assist with subcontractor coordination.
· Assist in preparation of progress payment requests.
· Assist with punch list operations.
· Expedite material deliveries.
· Observe (passively) contract and union negotiations.
· Participate in job safety activities.
· Assist in project or general accounting activities.
· Assist with project cost control systems.
· Maintain request for information (RFI) log.
Finding an Internship
It is recommended that each student:
1. Write a resume now, or update any current resume now;
2. Go to Career Services to have the resume critiqued and improved;
3. Request several current transcripts from the Registrar now to have them when needed.
For finding an internship:
1. Read the email internship announcements from the Civil Engineering faculty and the ASCE Student Chapter;
2. Read the printed internship announcements on message boards in the department;
3. Go to Career Services to find internship opportunities;
5. See the academic advisor to find internship opportunities;
6. Attend the Engineering Job and Internship Fair held by Career Services in Pryzbyla Center every year in January. Attendance is mandatory!
To prepare for the Engineering Fair and interviews:
1. Have a current resume.
2. Professional dress outfit (shirt and tie for males at the minimum!).
3. Get the list of attending companies from Career Services before the fair and get information about the companies and their current projects from:
(a) their webpages, (b) Career Services, (c) information in Engineering News Record (ENR) and other construction-related magazines, (d) brochures in the Civil Engineering student lounge.
4. Plan which companies to specifically talk with and why.