How does the bidding process work? What is a change order? How long does the demolition process usually take? What is a submittal? So many questions…
During my six-week summer internship with KBS, I had the privilege of shadowing Ed Rogerville, a KBS superintendent, in the field at both Publix project in the Village Shopping Center and at the St. Bridget’s bell tower project. On my first day in the field, Ed challenged me not to sit back and expect information to come to me, but instead to seek answers to the questions I had. It was advice I took to heart.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned from my internship with KBS is that there’s no shame in simply asking a question. I have discovered that it’s the best way to learn. I’m not a civil engineering or architecture major, but rather a political science student wanting to see what the commercial construction world was all about. Interning KBS has taught me to swallow my pride and admit to myself that at times I had no idea what was going on. I made it my mission to open my ears and ask as many questions as possible. I quickly realized that the more I asked questions and the more I engaged others in conversation, the more willing people were to help me. As a result, I discovered a whole new language and vocabulary.
It’s become apparent that communication is key to the successful management of construction projects. Spending time with Ed on the two sites helped me grasp how a complex design plan is translated from an architectural drawing to an actual structure. On any given day, I’d point to something specific on a design plan, such as a limestone header in the bell tower, and Ed would quickly run me outside of the trailer to show me exactly where it was going and describe the process of how it would be placed there. Not one person here at KBS has ever looked at me funny or ridiculed my questions, but rather eagerly explained the answers with positive encouragement. The KBS community has been incredibly warm and helpful to me over the course of my internship and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity.
This guest post was written by Wilson Bedell, a student at University of Virginia, during his summer internship with KBS.