September 14, 2017
June 12, 2017
Sundt Project Managers are often responsible for the work performed by dozens of employee-owners and subcontractors.
Project managers are in charge of Sundt’s transportation, industrial and building work during the construction phase. They put in long hours and are responsible for making sure projects stay on track and on budget all while overseeing the work of dozens of employee-owners and subcontractors. It’s a challenging job.
We are proud to have some of the best project managers in the business working on our projects across the Southwest. A few recently offered their thoughts on what attributes people in their field should have to be successful.
“A good project manager needs to be a good listener. PMs need to know the pulse of their staff, subcontractors and the client. If there are issues, investigate (listen) and make a plan.
A good PM needs to be good at accounting and needs to understand contracts.”
Jim Drago, Senior Project Manager, University Square, Tempe, Arizona
“A good project manager has to be able to navigate different personalities, have difficult discussions with clients and gain their trust. It’s important to demonstrate to owners that you have a “project-first” mentality.”
Jeff Hamilton, Preconstruction Project Manager, Valley Metro Rail Gilbert Road Extension, Mesa, Arizona
“It’s important to respect our contracts as the memorial of our agreements and responsibilities. It is also important to understand that at Sundt we value relationships with clients and our subs and that we treat each other fairly and respectfully. A good project manager has the finesse to manage and maintain both.”
Pam Hermosillo, Preconstruction Project Manager, Golden West College Student Services Center, Huntington Beach, California
“I have always said, “If it weren’t for people, our jobs would be easy.” The point is that people are our most precious resource and if we don’t take care of them properly, we will spend a lot of time and money training new people. We as project managers need to understand what motivates our team. Everyone is different and to assume that everyone is motivated the same way is a leadership mistake. Some look for praise one-on-one, others appreciate it in front of others. Some like more responsibility and not everyone is motivated by money. Having a well-run machine is first understanding the individuals on your team and intentionally managing their motivation and engagement.”
Mike Hill, Senior Project Manager, Tucson International Airport Security Checkpoints
“They need to be organized. It really comes into play on bigger projects, but having solid control over paperwork, personnel, schedule/calendar and all other components of the project reduces issues and instills more trust in the PM from subordinates as well as the client.
“They need to communicate well. There are a lot of good builders and a lot of good engineers/superintendents. Making the move to PM utilizes hard skills learned throughout, but one must focus on soft skills and communication to be effective in managing the project team and client. Most engineers tend to be Type A introverts. It takes some effort or discomfort to be proactive and openly communicate to the project team.”
Ryan Vlach, Project Manager, White Tanks Flood Structure, Buckeye, Arizona
“A good manager in general should have open and honest communication with the client (good or bad) as soon as possible, lead his/her team members by showing them how to do the task instead of just telling them and have his/her team’s back even when they make a mistake.”
Chad Yount, Senior Project Manager, San Pedro Creek, San Antonio
For more information on careers with Sundt, please click here.
March 23, 2017
Interns Isaiah and Dalton at the Signal Butte site in the Phoenix area.
Sundt’s Intern Class of 2017 is settling in at job sites across the Southwest, the result of many months spent recruiting top college students.
We send Talent Acquisition/University Relations Specialist Mike Morales to more than a dozen campuses during the fall and winter to participate in job fairs and conduct interviews with potential interns.
Ana shows her heavy equipment skills on the Ina Road-I-10 project in Tucson.
While our recruitment efforts mainly focus on the Southwest – we have a combined 29 interns from Arizona State University and the University of Arizona – there are four students in this class from the relatively small University of Wisconsin-Stout. Part of the Wisconsin state system, the school has 9,600 students.
We also have four students from the University of Texas-El Paso and three apiece from Chico State University in California, Northern Arizona University and Texas A&M University.
About 75 percent of our interns are Construction Management and Civil Engineering students. Other fields of study include Mechanical, Industrial or Electrical Engineering and Architecture.
Our summer interns work until August, when many return to school. Several past interns have been hired at Sundt as employee-owners after graduation.
We’re already recruiting next year’s intern class to ensure we get the best candidates.
“A few weeks ago, (Operations Manager) Jim Pullen and I met a student from Arizona State University who came highly recommended,” Mike said. “We’re looking forward to having her on the team in 2018.”
Interns Amy and Wesley at the Banner-UMC site in Tucson.
January 19, 2017
By Michael Morales
Sundt Talent Acquisition & University Relations Specialist
Thousands of construction management students are getting ready for summer internships. Preparing for the summer can bring on nerves, but it can also bring opportunities to showcase your talents and leave a lasting impression that will pay dividends starting your career.
Here are a few thoughts on what could ensure that you have a successful internship whether at Sundt or another general contractor.
Questions, Questions, Questions!
Mentors and supervisors agree that it’s important for interns to ask questions. This is encouraged from Day 1. How else can you continue to learn and grow in the industry? Don’t be afraid to ask. We are there to help, guide, and train you to prepare for a career after graduation.
It’s been said you hire on character and train skill. This could not be more true with our internship program. Maintain a high level of professionalism and respect for your co-workers. Help others and remember safety is our No. 1 priority. Don’t be afraid to speak up!
Little Things Can Be Big
The little things … showing up on time, listening to understand, being positive, being consistent, etc. They create the “big picture.” Don’t be the intern who is unreliable, shows up late, and has a “don’t care” attitude. Practice makes permanent, so if you are not doing these things, now is a great time to start.
I wish everyone a great summer internship. Enjoy the experience, have fun and ask questions.
October 13, 2016
Oregon State University students at last year’s Associated Schools of Construction Conference.
Students, if you haven’t secured your summer internship or full-time offer, it’s time to hustle. With so many construction companies securing talent in the fall, the spring recruiting session is your last opportunity to stand out and land a great internship. Luckily, one of the premier student construction competitions in the U.S., the Associated Schools of Construction Region 6 & 7 student competition, in taking place in Sparks, Nevada from Feb. 8-11.
Here are a few tips to land an internship and keep your networking circle open after graduation courtesy of our University Relations Specialist Michael Morales.
Now would be a great time to start reaching out to your company contacts (and no, not a random LinkedIn invite to the COO or VP). This list should include former interviewers, company recruiters, class presenters, etc. Start with these contacts and find out who will be attending and if you can snag some time with them to discuss your resume after the competition. Find out the companies’ hiring trends and if they are attending the competition to recruit interns, full-time employees or both.
Present with Confidence
Most company representatives will have evaluations for each team member who is presenting. Now even though a few minutes can’t decipher a future construction all-star, it can definitely help companies see who is confident, knowledgeable and excited to be there. Let’s be honest, all students starting their first internship don’t have the technical training/knowledge that you can only obtain from a jobsite. That’s ok; we’re not looking for that yet. We are looking for students who are able to communicate, interact well with teams, listen and have a passion for the industry.
Attend the Job Fair
Your internship is already secured? That’s awesome! But still come to the job fair on Feb. 11 (don’t forget Sundt sponsors the breakfast). This is a great time to network for future internships and/or full time employment with multiple companies. No student has ever had too many networking contacts. Try to make each conversation engaging and time well spent. Set a goal for yourself. It could be to speak with five or 10 companies for 15 minutes each, and meet 10 new contacts. As big as the industry is, we all are only a few connections away.
Plus, you get a lot of cool swag for your trip back to campus.
Good luck to all teams and we’re looking forward to meeting everyone at the competition.
Sundt’s college internship program has been named one of the best in the nation by the students themselves.
This year’s Vault.com rankings place us 32nd in the Best Internships category. Other companies in the rankings include Aetna, AFLAC, Boeing, Capital One, ConAgra Foods, Home Depot and Kohl’s.
“An internship is essential to college students looking to advance their careers in a chosen industry,” said Vault.com Vice President of Marketing Tara McCaffrey. “Companies are looking to recruit top talent before they graduate college and are using internships as the best way to assess potential employees. At the same time, college students view internships as the best way to test drive their chosen career path. These rankings offer students an opportunity to determine which companies are the best fit for their career goals.”
Vault surveyed more than 11,000 interns from 600 companies to establish its rankings. Students were asked to visit vault.com and answer a few questions about their experience as interns. On a scale of 1-10, we finished with a 9.123 average from 31 interns who completed our program. This was the first year we participated in the program.
“This recognition is a testament to the quality of our program and our ability to bring the best construction talent to Sundt,” said Sundt University Relations Specialist Michael Morales. “Our employee-owners recognize that these students are the future leaders of our company. We take great pride in developing essential skills they need in order to work in the industry.”
Vault is the most comprehensive resource for employer, university and internship program rankings, ratings and insight. Its rankings and reviews are sourced from directed surveys of professionals and students, and evaluate companies, schools, and internships in terms of prestige, best place to work, diversity, quality of life, compensation and other categories.
Click here for more information on internships with Sundt.