Spotlight on Students: Quoc-Daniel Nguyen
During the summer before my senior year, I interned at Skanska, which is a world-renowned company known for its construction development and contracting. The particular division I was in is known as Skanska USA Civil Northeast Inc., which is located in Queens, NY.
While at Skanska I was placed within the estimating department. I assisted in estimating the cost of project CM014B, which was a development project to renovate the upper mezzanine of the East Side Access of Grand Central Terminal Station in Manhattan, NY. The work consisted of doing "take offs", which is quantifying multiple different fit outs of the project, and then putting a price to those fit outs to ultimately end up at a final cost for the entire construction project. I really enjoyed working with the different computer software used for estimating, including On-Screen Takeoff and HCSS.
I learned a great deal from working at Skanska. Some of the things include learning about the processes that are required in starting and completing large-scale construction projects. I had to learn and adapt quickly to unfamiliar software including On-Screen Takeoff and HCSS as mentioned above. I also learned about all the little details and different jobs that need to be taken care of in developing infrastructure, and that teamwork is an essential skill needed to be successful in the construction industry.
What was most valuable to me during my internship experience was having the opportunity to work with and learn from a very successful business company that develops global infrastructures. It was my first internship in the construction industry and it gave me insight into the fields I would be interested in going into.
The internship helped me relate course studies to the real world more easily. I became very adept at realizing how different courses in the CEE department were connected and how each were equally important to learn to be able to grasp a better understanding of the construction industry.
The internship really helped me gain a better understanding of what I want to do in the future. I really enjoyed doing estimating but there were also several different interns doing different jobs including project management and having them share their experiences with me got me interested in different positions that Skanska had to offer. Internships really help you decide whether or not you can see yourself in this position in the near future, and I was able to see myself as an estimator.