It’s never too early to start laying a foundation for a construction career. For Sundt Intern Vache Garabedian, his preparations went into high gear as soon as he arrived at Cal Poly Pomona.
“I knew I wanted to be as involved as possible with student organizations and clubs,” Vache said.
Vache joined the Construction Engineering Management Association (CEMA) and Cal Poly Pomona’s Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) Student Chapter. CEMA is a student-run organization celebrating its 45th anniversary at Pomona. Serving construction/civil engineering students and industry partners, CEMA facilitates networking and professional opportunities between students and industry partners.
Vache has worked in leadership capacities for both organizations. He was a founding member of the DBIA group and is CEMA’s President.
“Being involved has helped me tremendously in my personal and professional growth,” he said. “It has taught me invaluable skills that will aid my professional career such as time management, collaboration, leadership and mentoring. It has also reinforced one of my core personal values of giving back to others.”
It was through CEMA that Vache learned about Sundt and the many opportunities at our company. He met Talent Acquisition and University Relations Specialist Michael Morales at a CEMA luncheon the company sponsored. Shortly after interviewing with Michael, Vache accepted an internship offer for the summer of 2016.
“A few days into my internship, I knew I wanted to return to Sundt for not only a second internship, but as an employee-owner after graduation,” Vache said.
Fortunately for Vache, we have a student housing project under way at Cal Poly Pomona. He worked there this past summer and has stayed on through the school year. Vache’s knowledge and enthusiasm inspired Project Manager Dominic Daughtrey to encourage him to pursue his Commercial Drone Pilot’s License, which he did this past July. As a result, Vache is running the drone program on the project.
“I’ve been able to supplement my academic knowledge with real-world experience and have helped solve problems that arise on job sites daily,” Vache said.
Student organizations and in-the-field work have combined to put Vache on track to get hired when he graduates. It would fulfill a lifetime dream.
“I’m a builder at heart and love the field,” he said. “My fondest memories of childhood include watching ‘Home Again with Bob Vila’ on Saturday mornings instead of cartoons and riding my bicycle to a nearby high-rise construction project and watching in sheer amazement day after day, week after week as that building was constructed. I aspire to be running large projects at Sundt.”