I spent my summer with Hourigan working at the Center of Developing Entrepreneurs (CODE) in downtown Charlottesville. Although I missed the early stages of the project, I experienced seven floors of poured concrete, with top-out happening over the last few days of my internship. In addition to the concrete, I watched other professionals like masons and steel erectors working at the same time due to the unique design and nature of the project. This exposed me to various methods of construction that I may see later in my career.
At CODE, I worked closely with the field team. Part of the reason why I am studying engineering in college is because I enjoy problem solving, and there was no shortage of opportunities to develop this skill over the summer. Between helping with the facilitation and management of subcontractors and working hands-on to tackle mini projects that popped up around the building, there was a new learning experience every day. There were also many instances where I was involved in maintaining a safe workplace, both adhering to OSHA standards and forming best practices in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
One of the fondest memories I will carry with me from the job is seeing the progress unfold on site. On my first day, I climbed to the top of the tower crane to see how much progress had been made so far. It was difficult to see that high up, and I remember wondering what it would look like when the building was finished. On one of my last days, I climbed the tower crane again, realizing the building was almost as tall as the crane was. It was baffling how much progress was made in just two and a half months.
When I joined Hourigan, I had very little construction experience. The team at CODE took me under its wing and taught me the ropes. I could feel my confidence growing every day. I gained crucial knowledge about the vast construction industry, and with the help of those around me, my leadership, communication, and management skills grew as well. Any question, no matter how trivial, was met with a helpful answer that made the experience that much more valuable. I know I still have a lot more to learn, but I am more than excited to continue in this industry.
I am extremely fortunate to have had an opportunity to work in person for Hourigan at a jobsite this summer, especially in the midst of the pandemic. I grew my personal and professional skills as I spent more time on site, and I am looking forward to putting those skills to the test when I graduate from UVA. My internship with Hourigan this summer truly was a great experience.