This year, National Intern Day is celebrated on July 29, 2021 and is a day dedicated to recognizing the future leaders of the world: interns.
At P. Agnes, many of our employees got their start in the construction industry as an intern or co-op, and now hold leadership roles within our company, including our own CEO, Pat Pasquariello III.
“As a co-op, I initially worked with the estimators, and in particular, a guy named Dick Roman. He taught me a lot about how to put a bid together. I also was the ‘go-to’ guy for delivering the bids. Yes, back then, we had to physically deliver the proposal to the owner. Sitting in the bid room while the bids were opened and read aloud was my favorite and most exciting part.
For students looking to participate in a co-op program, or who are starting on their first co-op my advice would be that you want to impress those whom you work for, so get there early, and stay late. Do whatever is asked of you. I look for someone with a firm handshake, and who looks you in the eye when they are talking to you. I also appreciate thoughtful questions that they may have. As an intern or co-op, they have got to learn the basics of how things are put together, and the best way for this to happen is for them to have some time in the field to observe and experience. In addition, the processes that we have in place to manage the work, for example technology like Procore, a construction management software, must be mastered.”Pat Pasquariello III
The path to a career in construction is clear for some but for others, it’s not. For some of our P. Agnes employees, it was through their unique experiences starting out that paved a clearer path for them.
“When I was in high school, P. Agnes reached out to my school to see if anyone was interested in assisting with office work part-time after school, and the dean of students gave me a recommendation. I visited the P. Agnes office for an interview and was ultimately hired for the job.
I initially had no interest in construction since my perception was that it was job you went to, performed manual labor, and got dirty. However, I soon realized you could work in construction and wear a suit and tie which appealed to me. I started out making copies, filing, sending faxes, delivering bids, making calls for estimators but as time went by responsibilities got more involved. Working at P. Agnes part-time definitely influenced my career path, but it was more than the job. It was the people, from the owners to the staff and the family business culture.
Being around people in the industry and learning from their advice and experiences to me was invaluable experience. The things you read in books do not compare to hands on experience in the field or an office.
As an intern or co-op, be very observant, always ask a question if you do not understand something, try to get as much exposure to every facet of the office or jobsite including estimating and operations, and before you speak, think.” Tom Pitucci
“When I applied to Drexel University as a Civil & Architectural Engineering student, I was confident a career in structural design was in my future. As a co-op student, I spent all three of my six-month co-ops at design firms which ultimately steered me towards a different direction.
Participating in internships and co-ops can be one step on the way to your future career, even if it’s not the one you had planned. I’m thankful that as a co-op student I was provided the opportunity to work in the design field, which opened the door for me to consider new career paths, and for me it was construction management.”Craig Hall
By sharing a few of our own P. Agnes employees’ stories in celebration of National Intern Day, we hope to inspire current and future interns and co-ops in our industry, and beyond, that getting experience outside of the classroom is essential to paving the way to a career path you love.