It’s a sunny day in May, warmer than usual — the perfect day to get my first steps on the pitcher’s mound, and my first steps through the door at New England Construction. The pitcher before me just walked three straight batters, and now it is finally my turn to prove myself on the mound. I’ve waited a long time for this opportunity, sitting in the bullpen, and I knew I was ready, but nervous.
Just like in the bullpen, I waited my turn to obtain an internship to gain experience in “the real world.” I revised my resume countless times, researched dozens of internship opportunities, and sent my fair share of emails and phone calls. When I got a call from Amy telling me I was chosen for the internship, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to get a taste of what it’s like to work for a company like New England Construction, and contribute to the construction of a variety of buildings/businesses/etc. I have always been amazed at how massive structures really come together in a project, and now I got to see it first-hand. I make my way to the pitcher’s mound, ready for the opportunity.
The reality of being on a big-game stage strikes me as I look at the batter standing in front of me and the fans surrounding me. Back in Rumford, I am about to make my way into the office for the first time. I was told to meet someone named “Mike”, but I don’t know where to find him or what he looks like. I am nervous as ever, not sure what to expect in my first day at the office. Finally, I find my way into the building, and am greeted by Mike and given a tour of the office. I am shocked to discover I get my own desk and laptop for the job! I feel so official; it’s like I’m not a college student anymore. After some time, everyone else in the office gets out of their meeting to greet me. Thankfully, each cubicle and office has name tags on it. They are a life saver!
Standing on the pitcher’s mound, I am quick to observe all of the new tasks that lie ahead of me: reading the catcher’s signs, disguising my pitch, keeping the runners close to the base, and delivering a good pitch. In the office, I am learning all about what project engineers and managers do. I’m filling out RFI’s submittals, meeting packets, change order logs; all of which I had never heard of before this opportunity. I am told I will be using programs like Timberline, Bluebeam, Plangrid, and Microsoft Project, all of which I had never used before. By the end of the week, however, I had gained a good understanding of all of these forms/programs from frequent use of them for Amanda, Suzette, and others. Everything at the office is so organized, and Timberline really helps with organizing the RFIs, submittals, and change orders. I found Bluebeam to be really interesting, as it is like AutoCAD on steroids (baseball pun!). After finishing just my first two weeks, I already have a great understanding of what the project engineers and managers at New England Construction do.
Back on the mound, I have received the sign from the catcher to throw my first pitch. This is it — the moment of truth, and the moment I get to see everything play out. At work, I am now attending the Rhode Island Mall job site, seeing all of the report and drawing work being played out and coming together. The mall project is massive, and despite growing up with a father in construction, I have never seen a project this big. It is amazing seeing all of the different subcontractors do their individual work towards one, big project. In my first couple of days on the job, I have already seen a lot of progress made, and I have a much stronger sense of how all of this project management work comes together out in the field. I’ve seen some awesome things, like a demolition of a concrete wall, the building of a storefront, and a complete paint job of the entire interior of a department store. I love walking around the site with Anthony and Mike and observing how a run-down mall can be turned into a remodeled, functional space in one, giant project.
It’s time to deliver the first pitch. I wind up, grip the ball, and throw it towards the strike zone. The ump calls ball. Definitely just getting used to the batter with that first pitch, as I am getting used to being a part of the company here at New England Construction (even playing on their softball team!).
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