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Hourigan Summer Internship – An Intern’s Insight on Construction


Hourigan takes pride in mentoring the next generation of leaders in the construction industry. Through our construction management summer internship program, our interns are immersed in the day-to-day of construction project management, field management, or preconstruction services. With guidance from their mentor, our interns learn to navigate real-time project challenges and apply concepts learned in school to active construction projects. Our interns get an inside look at the daily operations of Hourigan with tactical experience on construction job sites. Adding to the immersive learning experience, interns participate in job site tours in each of Hourigan’s three offices (Richmond, Charlottesville, and Hampton Roads), have various company overviews highlighting the building blocks of Hourigan Group, meet-and-greet lunches with our executive team, and get the choice to take OSHA30 training before the end of the summer.
We asked three of our current 2023 summer interns to give us an insight into how their internship with Hourigan has changed their perception of construction. We also discussed what interested them the most in wanting to join this industry.

Bennett Dziekan, marking for missing OSB during a framing QC walkthrough.

Coming from Virginia Tech, Bennett is a rising senior. He is currently working on the job site full-time with our project management team at Hourigan’s ground-up multi-family apartment building. The Navigator

Q: How has Hourigan influenced your perception of construction?

A: Working with a general contractor, like Hourigan, I have been exposed to the detailed planning and preconstruction that goes into completing a building. By being on the job site full-time, I get a chance to see what responsibilities the field management team has. For example, being part of daily site walk throughs, participating in quality tasks, and helping to document building progress photos to share with the client.

Q: How has your internship with Hourigan compared to your previous internships?

A: My prior internships were with specialized subcontractors that a general contractor, like Hourigan, would hire to work on a portion of the project. As an intern for a subcontractor, I didn’t get to see the outcome. Now, I have had the chance to see the entire picture and how each subcontractor’s specialty contributes to the finished product.

Collin Altizer helping to clean up around the job site and creating safe working conditions for our contractors.

A rising JMU junior, Collin is splitting his time between the office with our project management team and the job site with the field management team focusing on a new construction healthcare facility. OrthoVirginia

Q: How has Hourigan influenced your perception of construction?

A: Before my internship, my only perception of construction was through my summers working on a job site as a laborer. My responsibilities were to keep the job site clean and support the field team as needed. This summer as an intern splitting my time between the field and office, I have a better understanding of the “behind the scenes” tasks like scheduling, budgeting, and safety measures done by both management teams to run an efficient job site.

Q: What are the benefits and challenges of splitting time between the office and the field?

A: A huge benefit is getting to see how each team operates separately and together to get the project done. In the field, I am more involved with subcontractor conversations and get a chance to learn new skills like site surveying. A challenge that is personal to me is learning how to prioritize my time efficiently. I assist with reviewing submittals, composing RFI’s, and capturing job site progress photos. Each of these tasks are important to the success of the project and budgeting my time accordingly to be successful has been a positive learning experience.

Delanie O’Day with Elizabeth Eshbach, Assistant Preconstruction Manager, reviewing proposal drawings for an upcoming project.

As a recent transfer into construction management, Delanie is getting to see what goes into preconstruction for each project Hourigan is awarded.

Q: How has Hourigan influenced your perception of construction?

A: Prior to my internship with Hourigan, my perception of construction is what I saw when driving around town or through TV channels like HGTV. I didn’t know what to expect at the beginning of the summer, but I was excited to expand my understanding of the industry. From the outside looking in, it is difficult to understand how multi-dimensional construction is, the career opportunities available, and how rewarding it can be. Thanks to Hourigan and my mentor, Elizabeth, construction is more of a tangible career that I can see myself enjoying long-term.

Q: What about your current internship do you enjoy the most?

A: Everything! This experience has given me a great perspective on what a company culture should be, and I am learning something new every day. I get to be in a setting where my work is important and adds value to a project and I love seeing how it is getting applied in the field.

2023 summer interns touring the Faison Center’s Pioneer Hall

Laying the foundation for our summer internship program begins with college career fair season. During the fall semester, our team recruits from universities across the Mid-Atlantic to find top talent.  When identifying potential interns, we look for students who have an interest in construction management, wanting a hands-on opportunity to further expand their understanding of the industry, and align with our core values: Serve with Integrity, Never Disappoint, and Lead Forward. Once we have our intern class spots filled for the upcoming summer, we work with each intern to identify learning objectives that act as a guideline for their summer internship.

As a ‘2023 Top Virginia Employer for Interns’ awardee, Hourigan works throughout the year on strategies that will evolve the program. We ask previous internship classes for regular feedback and ideas that will improve the program for the upcoming season. For Hourigan, mentoring the next generation of leaders also means listening to what our interns need to promote further industry growth. While the experience can be both formative and enriching for our interns, the feeling is mutual. Hourigan interns bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, coming from diverse academic backgrounds. Their academic careers expose them to the latest industry trends and technologies, providing the construction team with new approaches to problem-solving and project management. Hourigan’s internship program allows us to invest in the future of the industry by developing and nurturing the next generation of construction professionals.

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