I’ve spent my first two pitches getting a feel for the batter, and now it’s time to really deliver in the big moment. At NEC, I’m fully caught up with everyday life in the office and at the job site, and feel like I am making important contributions. It feels great to go to my internship everyday feeling like I am an important part of something. In my first two posts, I’ve been writing about pretty general information on my experiences thus far, but wanted to take the time on this post to really describe what a typical work day at NEC for me is like. The batter steps back into the box, and I contemplate which pitch I should throw next.
At the beginning of every work week in the office, everyone, including me, attends a PM meeting to start off the morning. During this meeting, led by George, our Vice President of Operations, all of the project managers at NEC give updates of what is currently occurring at their respective jobs. It is a great way for everyone to stay updated on the progress of jobs they are not necessarily a part of. The project managers will explain what tasks have been completed within the last week, what tasks are currently ongoing, and what tasks plan to be started in the week. It is also a great time for the PM’s to get feedback on problems they run into with their jobs. They will present an issue they are currently having on site and ask for others’ opinions on what to do in that situation, so that the best resolution can be determined. After the PM meeting, everyone heads back to their desks to get started on their work. For me, this means going around to the project engineers and managers to see what they need done. Usually, they are extremely busy, and I’m given a handful of work. This work usually is along the lines of submitting RFI’s, submittals, downloading drawings and creating drawing logs, and creating meeting packets for owner’s meetings. An RFI, or “Request For Information” is a document sent out to the architect on the project asking to clarify points of confusion that come up when subcontractors look at the project drawings or the project itself. A submittal is a document sent to the architect that asks for the approval of new material or work to be done on the project by a subcontractor. In every job, changes are often made, and new sets of drawings come out to show these changes. When a new set of drawings come out, I will download them to our company folder and update the log we keep for each project that tells us what each drawing is and when it’s most updated version came out, basically like a Table of Contents. On occasion, as mentioned before, I will create meeting packets for Owner’s Meetings at the job sites, which include a compilation of documents on the progress of the project for the owner to see. Usually, I will have a few of these things to do for different coworkers, and will work on them until my day at the office is complete.
Outside the office, I usually attend a job site two times a week. When I first get to the site in the morning, I will take a walk around to see what tasks are ongoing that day. This gives me a good idea of what to look for throughout the rest of the day. After my first walkthough, I usually return to the construction trailer, where the project engineer is working. During this time, I help out the PE with various tasks like those mentioned in the previous paragraph. Around mid-day, there will be either an owner’s or subcontractor’s meeting for me to attend. The owner’s meeting is usually a conference call with the owners of the building/land we are working on. During this meeting, we update the owner on the progress of the project, and answer any questions they have. We also discuss the possibility of making changes to the project or adding some additional features. The subcontractor’s meeting is a meeting with the subcontractor’s foremen currently on the project. During this meeting, our superintendent on the project will ask each foreman if they have any problems going on so that it can be fixed. After the meeting, I spend the rest of the day walking around the site, shadowing the superintendent, as he cares to the subcontractors. This is the part where I learn the most about the job, as I am constantly around the work being performed. I am becoming more and more educated about how projects like these happen and the terms and materials used on site.
I’m now ready to deliver the third pitch. I wind up, plant my foot, and throw a fastball. Ball two.
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