Intern spotlight at McCownGordon

A group photo of McCownGordon interns at a jobsite

The McCownGordon internship is in full swing, and the interns are gaining some valuable experience and exposure while making a real impact on our projects! Check out the post below to hear from one of our current interns about his summer experience.

Sutton Hess, Project Engineer Intern at McCownGordon 

My name is Sutton Hess, and I’ll be a senior at Oklahoma State University in the fall. I am here to talk to you a little about what I have been doing this summer and what makes McCownGordon a great place to work. This summer, I took a leap and decided to move out of state for my internship. I can confidently say it has been one of the best decisions I have made in my college career. I am working as a Project Engineer Intern for McCownGordon at one of many project sites in Kansas City, Missouri. This summer, I have had the opportunity to work on a traditional non-sort warehouse that has a footprint of over one million square feet and sits on a 400-acre property. I have to say that I was a little intimidated at first by the size of the project and how many people I would be working with. Aside from the different trade partners on site, my project team alone is 16 people! This was a huge transition from the two-person team I worked with at my previous internship. The project broke ground in September of 2020 and is estimated to begin standard operations in September of this year. I have had the chance to see so many unique things happen on site that I have never seen in construction. These items range from having a helicopter fly our air conditioning units on to the warehouse to watching a site blast on the property break up the unsuitable soil to be used on the site instead of bringing in other material.

Valuable experiences…

What I really enjoy about being a Project Engineer Intern at McCownGordon is that no two days are the same. This was the reason I chose a career in construction, but I have found that McCownGordon has gone above my expectations for new opportunities. My team has encouraged me to try new things and challenged me to step out of my comfort zone even if I think I might fail at first. Before this summer, I had no experience with Bluebeam (a PDF collaboration tool) and had only taken a couple classes on Procore (a project management software). Now, I work in Procore and Bluebeam daily and feel confident using them both. I’ve also gained some great experience conducting Struction Site walks. Struction Site is a software that takes 360-degree photos which we use to compare past photos and show the progress being made in a certain area. It’s been amazing to see the progress we have made on the project in a quick two months!

Intern site tours…

My favorite element I have experienced this summer with McCownGordon would have to be our intern site tour days. These are days where we travel as a group to the other interns’ projects and see what their day-to-day looks like. It is a great time to ask questions and experience other jobsites, different phases of the construction process, and meet more of the McCownGordon team. We have had the opportunity to tour a new-build middle school, a major renovation and addition for an organ transplant facility, and even a state-of-the-art cancer treatment facility. Normally, an internship would only be with one assigned project, but McCownGordon has changed my perspective on the intern experience and given me the chance to see over 10 different projects/jobsites in less than 2 months!

Final thoughts…

If you are stuck in deciding what role to pursue for your career, McCownGordon gives you the opportunity to explore different roles and career paths even if it is not your selected role for the summer. Though I selected the project engineer role for my internship, I have the opportunity to get some exposure to the field engineer role, estimating, safety, or even engineering services.

It goes without saying that McCownGordon has treated me like I am really a part of the team, and it has been a spectacular 2021 internship. I’m really looking forward to taking the experience and knowledge I’ve gained this summer back to the classroom in the fall!

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