Intern Reflection: Doing Work That Matters


I decided to intern with Hourigan because of how welcoming they were when I first met them at the Virginia Tech career fair. The employees I met truly cared about developing my understanding of the construction industry, and that theme continued throughout my internship this summer.

I worked on the VCU Health Adult Outpatient Facility project. Every morning we had a “stretch and flex” at 6:45am on site. This helps get our bodies moving and warm to help prevent any injuries while on the job. After this, multiple people stand in the same spot every day and observe the jobsite for about 30 to 40 minutes. This was always my favorite part of the day because I had time to ask as many questions as I’d like about the project’s progression. It also gave me the opportunity to talk to the other workers and get to know them better. Learning how to communicate with people that are more experienced than me was definitely my biggest takeaway from this internship.

My two main mentors this summer were Taylor and Ryan. Through their mentorship, they helped me grow immensely both in construction and as a person. Anthony also played an important role in my educational and personal development. He always started the day looking at the jobsite with the interns and would ask, “So what looks different today?” Then we discussed the jobsite and asked questions.

Throughout the summer, I was assigned many tasks to broaden my construction knowledge. I gained ample experience looking at submittals and RFIs (Requests for Information)—and seeing my name as a co-author on the first RFI I completed was an awesome feeling. As someone who struggled with reading drawings, the RFIs and submittals were extremely helpful to better understanding those. I also spent a lot of time working with the concrete breaks by inputting information in an excel file, and this taught me a lot about concrete that I didn’t already know. Another one of my assignments was working on spaces for the deficiency log, which will be used throughout the longevity of the project. Knowing that something I worked on will be utilized much longer than just the time I was here is really rewarding. And one of the coolest things I did during my internship was learn how to weld—an experience I never expected I’d have this summer!

I always looked forward to taking time during the day to walk around the site and see the day-to-day progress. The guys in the field truly embraced having me on the site and gave me the opportunity to do things that might not be available at other companies, as well as made me feel like part of the Hourigan family. I learned that the family atmosphere is a huge part of the Hourigan culture. Whether it’s talking to Mark Hourigan or anyone on the job site, I could tell they were listening to what I had to say, and it made me feel like I matter.

At the conclusion of my internship, my biggest piece of advice for any future interns is that it’s okay to not know a lot about construction if you are willing to ask questions and absorb the information. The willingness of the Hourigan team to teach me and my eagerness to ask questions is what helped me learn and grow the most this summer.