Investing in Interns: How our internship program shapes our present and our future
Since our inception, we have been interested in fostering a career in construction in young people. We partner with local schools for STEAM initiatives and make sure we are visible in our community. However, perhaps our most valuable contribution to the field is our internship program. In fact, many of the familiar faces you see at Evergreen today began their careers as interns with us.
We always have a steady rotation of interns throughout the year, but as in most industries, summer is peak internship season. Of course, 2020 initially presented its own set of challenges when it came to launching our 2020 summer program. After inviting interns from Auburn University, Clemson University, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgia Southern University, Kennesaw State University, Purdue University and the University of Florida, we were met with the unique situation of COVID-19. For a few weeks, we worked with the universities to decide a plan of action, and we are excited to say that ultimately, we had 15 interns join us both in our office and in the field! They are:
- Ben Swicord – Field Intern, Auburn University
- Collin Liberatore – Office Co-Op, Auburn University
- Valdon Smith – Office Co-Op, Auburn University
- Vinny Farina – Office Intern, Auburn University
- Wilson Smith – Office Co-Op, Auburn University
- Robby Gore – Office Intern, Clemson University
- Nathan LeMieux – Office Intern, Eastern Kentucky University
- Brandon Polanco – Field Intern, Georgia Southern University
- Hayden Marks – Field Intern, Georgia Southern University
- Cameron Peterson – Office Intern, Kennesaw State University
- Trey Lee – Field Intern, Kennesaw State University
- Jake Letherman – Field Intern, Purdue University
- Ed Merisier – Field Intern, University of Florida
- Isaac Otero – Field Intern, University of Florida
- John Clayton – Office Intern, University of Florida
We asked a few of our previous interns, now full-fledged employees, about their internship experience and why it led them to a career at Evergreen. Here’s what they had to say:
Connor Smith, Assistant Project Manager, Kennesaw State University, Former Field & Office Intern:
“Our internship program at Evergreen Construction has several different benefits. First, this program allows individuals to have a chance to see if this line of work is something that they enjoy and want to build a career in. Second, they have the opportunity to improve their industry skills and apply what they learn in school. Third, they are able to see firsthand what the roles and responsibilities of a particular job are from working alongside people in this field.
The interns should expect to be treated and welcomed in this office as all other staff is. They should also expect to have learning curves but will absolutely feel accomplished at the end of the program. Our expectations of interns during their time in this program are no different than what is expected from our employees on a daily basis. We expect them to show up promptly and work until their duties are completed. We also expect them to communicate, ask questions and take this time to learn and grow within the profession.
I valued my time as an intern with this company because of all that it taught me. During that period, I realized that Evergreen is truly a family. Everyone works together towards the common goal of completing a project. The team that I worked with educated me, guided me, and gave me the confidence to realize without a doubt the career path I had chosen was something that I would appreciate growing in.”
Zack DeGrendel, Assistant Project Manager, Kennesaw State University, Former Office Intern
“The Evergreen Construction internship program taught me everything I know about construction. I started the program before I started taking actual construction courses at Kennesaw State University, and when I entered the classroom, I already knew the material. This field-based knowledge allowed me to excel past my peers whose knowledge came from the lecture or textbook. Not only that, the Evergreen internship program taught what it meant to work for a quality construction company that prides itself on prioritizing its employees and relationships with clients and not just the work itself. I didn’t feel like another drone in the corporate machine but rather a valued member of the Evergreen family. As I heard from one of Evergreen’s senior PM’s “The sticks and bricks are easy, it’s the relationships that you build that really matter.” I could not find that more true of Evergreen as a company and because of the internship program, I can carry this knowledge and values into my career in construction.”
Matt Taylor, Assistant Project Manager, University of Florida, Former Field & Office Intern
“As a college student in a well-respected construction management program, I expected to find an internship that provided me with a strong educational experience, and that’s exactly what I found with Evergreen. My time as an Evergreen intern provided me with a construction management education far better than any I received in a classroom. From experience with scheduling material deliveries and managing trade contractors in the field, to reviewing submittals, writing RFIs, and managing the project schedule in the office, I couldn’t have asked for a more comprehensive internship.
What I did not expect to find was a second family. Evergreen’s focus on community is so natural that it appears effortless, though I can tell you now that it is very intentional. From my very first day as an intern, I knew that the people who comprise Evergreen are the reason for its success. There is a deep and genuine understanding that people and relationships come first, and that we cannot build to our best if we haven’t established those foundations first. I really believe that our motto – particularly the second line – defines our company perfectly:
WHAT WE BUILD
AND HOW WE BUILD
WHO WE ARE.
We build schools, hotels, senior living – the list goes on. But it is the relationships cultivated by our founders and all those who’ve come before us that have built the reputation behind the name, Evergreen Construction.”
Interested in interning at Evergreen? Here’s what you need to know:
The Evergreen Internship is beneficial in that it:
- Provides students with a brief but realistic work experience in the commercial construction industry.
- Introduces students to many aspects of project management, including writing RFIs, the submittals and closeout processes.
- Introduces students to many aspects of field management, including managing trade contractors, writing daily reports and quality control.
- Provides students with the opportunity to learn from professionals who are excited to invest in them.
- Meets students exactly where they are and pushes them to learn and grow in their professional career.
At Evergreen, we expect our interns to:
- Build standing relationships with our clients and their project teams.
- Be proactive and self-motivated, and take ownership of their project.
- Produce quality work, regardless of the magnitude of the task.
- Be professional, prepared, and knowledgeable for the responsibilities they are given.
- Work as a member of a team, and strive to make their entire team successful.
Want to inquire further about interning at Evergreen?
Reach out to Matt Taylor. He will let you know about next steps!
Matt Taylor | firstname.lastname@example.org | 678.244.6590