This summer we will be hearing from W. M. Jordan’s Interns as they spend time learning in the field and in the office. Today, we hear from Emmy Melchert. This is Emmy’s second summer working with W. M. Jordan. She will be spending the majority of her summer assisting teams working from our Richmond office.
My first internship with W.M. Jordan (WMJ) last summer was awesome. Starting right out of high school, I was very green in my understanding of construction concepts and verbiage. To get me up to speed, WMJ allowed me to explore all the departments in the Richmond office. I spent time with Project Operations team members, Estimating, Marketing, Supplier Diversity, and Building Information Modeling (BIM). I was excited to learn as much as I could from each group.
It is so cool to me that such a wide variety of roles are involved in building a project. I learned from W.M. Jordan that each person is an integral, highly valued part of the process. I saw how well people at W.M. Jordan treat one another and how well they treated me. I, an intern with no experience, was being asked my opinion on the things going on around me. I was encouraged to challenge what I saw with any questions I may have had. I was so intrigued.
Coming back to WMJ for my winter break and this summer has been an asset in my professional development and exposure to construction. While my interest was spurred by my first summer, I knew I wanted to get a little deeper into the nitty gritty of what a job in construction really entails. This summer has not disappointed. I have had more informed conversations with people in both the office and in the field about the tasks I’m working on because of the exposure I got last summer. It has been a lot of fun and a great learning experience to see the progression of projects from last summer to this summer.
My intern experience with W.M. Jordan has not only been a joy professionally, but socially as well. As a returning intern, I already knew many of the people here. It was easy to pick up where I left off and grow professional relationships and friendships with many people here. I am very grateful to those who have made me feel known and special, because it has allowed me to be myself and feel comfortable and happy to go to work every day. A big component of this is the wellness culture of WMJ – it allows us to feel refreshed, going back to work feeling happier and more productive. Not to mention it is a fun way to network and bond with many people in the company!
This summer I’m not just shadowing professionals, but I feel like a professional myself. I have been entrusted with important tasks that make a real impact on the progress of a project. For example, this past week I was invited to attend and speak at an owner interview. Being able to speak alongside construction professionals who are the best at what they do makes you feel important. I am so grateful for that opportunity. That is one of my favorite things about WMJ’s intern program – the team here truly wants to see us succeed and do well in our young careers.
This empowerment, and real project responsibility, helps create a strong bond with the company and its team members. Everyone involved pushes WMJ’s interns to do their best and make meaningful contributions to their project while we are here. I get to learn while assisting WMJ’s team members and making an impact on the project that I am working on. It is a win-win for everyone!
This internship has enabled me to see the construction process with my own eyes. I’ve honed skills I never thought I’d need to work at – patience, teamwork, perseverance and creativity, to name a few. I know now that I need these things as much or more than what I’m learning in school. Seeing and working on real projects expands your exposure to the limitless nature of construction – anything can be built with the right team and I am so happy to be a part of that team at W. M. Jordan.