January 14, 2016
December 17, 2015
Employee-owner engagement continues to thrive at Sundt. Two prominent business publications have placed us on their best places to work lists.
Sundt was ranked 13th in the Phoenix Valley in the large companies category (250 to 1,000-plus employees) by the Phoenix Business Journal and 10th among large companies (250-1,999 employees) in San Diego by the San Diego Business Journal.
“Being the recipient of Best Places highlights Sundt as an employer of choice and as a leader in employee engagement,” said Sundt Corporate Director of Employee-Owner Experience and & Diversity Marian Enriquez. “Most importantly, it reaffirms how the Sundt employee-owner experience is a vital part of our success.”
On behalf of the Phoenix Business Journal, Quantum Workplace each year conducts a survey that measures employee engagement based on 10 core areas: teamwork, retention, alignment with goals, trust with co-workers, individual contribution, manager effectiveness and trust in senior leaders, feeling valued, job satisfaction and benefits.
Best Companies Group conducts company assessments for the San Diego Business Journal. The study is a two-part process designed to gather detailed data about each participating company. In part one, the employer completes a questionnaire and in part two, employees of the company complete a survey.
November 10, 2015
Michael K. Morales, a Sundt Talent Acquisition and University Relations Specialist, recently traded in his desk job for a few weeks in the field as an intern on our Biosciences Partnership Building in Downtown Phoenix. Michael put on his work gear, attended meetings, performed quality control walks, helped clean up the site and did most everything an intern would do on a jobsite.
An internship is a valuable step into the work world. Looking back on the experience, Michael has words of wisdom for college students who are interested in the construction industry and preparing for a first internship.
My only real “hands-on” experience in construction came by building a deck with my dad when I was about 10 (I’m sure I was extremely helpful). I have a bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communications from Northern Illinois University. I’m not your typical construction worker, nor am I a handyman.
But I like to win at whatever I do. In my job as Talent Acquisition and University Relations Specialist, I sometimes need a little on-the-job training to get a better idea of what our people do in the field so I can help recruit the best interns and employees. That was my inspiration for spending a few weeks as an intern at a Sundt joint venture project with DPR, the Biosciences Partnership Building.
The opportunity to go through an internship and better understand a Field Engineer’s work/responsibilities is absolutely priceless as a “corporate” guy. I could discuss the sites, daily responsibilities and hours with students but the question I couldn’t answer was “What is it like being a Sundt intern?” That was the idea behind my entire experience this winter. Boots on the ground, in the weeds, hard hat and PPE. Getting it done!
In my few weeks at the BPB, I learned a tremendous amount about the industry. I attended a concrete pour on the eighth floor, learned and processed RFIs/submittals, attended safety training, checked embed layout for accuracy, conducted quality control walks, safety walks, wrote minutes for meetings (Owner/Architect/Contractor, Engineer, Safety, Joint Venture, Daily Huddles and Structural Coordination) and gained the experience and knowledge to help future interns create careers at Sundt.
During my experience, I had the opportunity to see Sundt from a college student’s perspective. And with that, I have these recommendations for future interns.
Get to know your mentor BEFORE your first day
Reach out to him or her before he or she contacts you. This is a key relationship for your success at Sundt. Your mentor, usually the Project Engineer or Field Engineer, will be working with you on a daily basis vs. a Project Manager or Project Superintendent who might work with you as needs arise. Ultimately, your mentor will be giving recommendations for full-time employment (along with input from other team members). So do the little things right: show up on time, seek advice, engage with employees and ask questions.
Have a good understanding of how to read drawings (it will take some time)
An important skill that is often overlooked is the science of understanding blueprints. Make sure to have a general understanding of construction documents (drawings, RFIs, submittals and meeting minutes) before you show up for your internship. If a Project Engineer/Field Engineer is sending you RFIs/submittals to process, send the correct drawings back and check that the question you are asking has not already been answered somewhere else (first-day mistake on my part). Don’t be a paper pusher, don’t just copy and paste questions. Read the questions, understand them and if you don’t comprehend something, ask your mentor. You’ll need to get to a point during your internship where you understand and complete these accurately or you will struggle. Everything you will do in your career revolves around these documents.
Get out of your comfort zone
Everyone on a jobsite is extremely busy. You need to continuously seek opportunities to learn. Don’t wait to be tasked with a job! Ask a Project Engineer how you can assist, shadow a Superintendent, shovel concrete, help with dust control or participate in a quality control walk. Don’t be afraid to ask to help the team. You didn’t seek an internship so you could sit at a computer and surf TMZ, did you? This is your opportunity to show that you want and deserve to be here! It’s up to you to do it!
Get out on the actual jobsite as much as you can
You asked to be in the field, right? So get out there! While I was onsite at BPB, I made a point to go out at least once a day. You can always conduct a safety walk, check for layout accuracy, verify subcontractors’ daily activity checklist, clean up debris, etc. Yes, you can go out there without an escort. Make sure to attend the proper site safety training before you are cleared to go on your own.
Pay attention in meetings
There are a lot of meetings (for interns, sometimes five a day) but unless you are fully engaged at all of them you will be missing out on the experience. I learned a TON just by listening and taking meeting notes (which may be required for you so you might as well start Day 1). These notes were as simple as learning what a spider box to understanding weekly work plan scheduling, how to tell thickness of rebar, general site safety, OSHA (guidelines and when its representatives were visiting), fire protection, door installations, waterproofing, etc.
Attend a concrete pour (even if you have to go to a different site for a day)
Yes, it’s probably during an odd hour (my pour started at 11 p.m.). Make sure you try and get some sleep the few hours beforehand. Otherwise it makes for a long day/night. Seeing this pour helped me understand concrete formwork, how shoring works and how concrete gets finished after the pour. It truly is an art form, from scheduling to the equipment needed. Make sure you see one during your internship.
The past few weeks were a terrific experience for me. I appreciate everyone who allowed me to see firsthand what it’s like to be an intern. Sundt is a great place to work, learn and advance. I’m extremely confident that we will continue to attract the best students possible.
Let’s get to work!
July 30, 2015
Sundt’s Doreen Wicks helps students build toolboxes during the annual Arizona Construction Career Days last week in Phoenix. Photo courtesy of the Arizona Builders Alliance.
Students from more than 70 high schools gathered in Phoenix last week for Arizona Construction Career Days, an event Sundt has sponsored for more than a decade.
During the two-day event, approximately 1,800 students learned about the construction industry. Many built and took home Sundt-branded toolboxes. Arizona Construction Career Days is the state’s largest construction event that offers hands-on experience for high-school students.
The event was hosted by the Association of Construction Career Development and held at the Arizona Army National Guard Papago Site. Sundt had more than a dozen volunteers at the event assisting with sign in and helping students build their toolboxes.
An event preview video can be seen here.
July 8, 2015
Name: Matthew Altamirano
Project: San Diego International Airport Rental Car Center
Year: Summer 2015
Major: Civil Engineering Technology
School: New Mexico State University
Anticipated Graduation Date: Spring 2015
Why did you decide on Sundt for your summer internship?
Truthfully, I’d never heard of Sundt before but a coworker of mind from my work-study job knew an engineer from Sundt and told me to send in my résumé. Later, I interviewed with the engineer and as he was talking to me about Sundt and its values, vision, and plans, I knew that I wanted to be a part of Sundt’s global vision. I’ve had internships with other companies and they were great, but I knew that I couldn’t pass up an opportunity such as this one.
What does a typical day look like for you?
The job will be completed soon on October 31, 2015 and my job is to be in charge of closeout. That involves calling all the subs and making sure they turn in all warranties, O&M’s, submittals, etc. that the contract asks for. Furthermore, when the sub-contractors send in their paperwork I organize it by placing it on the drive and placing the hard copies in binders. Other than closeout, I post RFI’s, make submittal packages, submittal transmittals and I’ll go out with the PE’s and inspect the jobsite.
What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
Mexican food, seafood, and good old classic American food (hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza).
What is a book you have read recently?
“INSTINCT” by T.D Jakes
Favorite quote/inspirational saying?
“I’m more terrified of 100 sheep led by a lion, then 100 lions led by a sheep” –Unknown
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to play sports, with basketball being my number one sport to play! I love almost anything that involves the outdoors. I love to go hiking, camping, fishing, bike riding, running, you name it. Plus, I love hanging out with friends and meeting new people. My family is also a big part of my life, so spending time with them is a top priority for me
NAME: Mike Barbero
WORKSITE: Bagdad Filter Project – Bagdad, AZ
MAJOR: Mechanical Engineering
SCHOOL: University of Wyoming
What drew you to Sundt?
I first discovered Sundt when I was a sophomore at a university career fair. When I was talking with the recruiter I noticed all of the industrial projects we were talking about were large, which in turn meant large equipment. That is what really caught my interest. I grew up in the construction industry, but I have never been on a job of such great magnitude until Sundt. Being able to work on projects in the industrial world has been really rewarding.
What does a typical day at Sundt look like for you?
A typical day for me could consist of RFI’s, instrument tracking, miscellaneous work in prolog, and quantity auditing.
What have you learned through your Sundt internship about the real world of construction that surprised you?
The thing that surprised me the most was how much work and time actually goes into the engineering/management side of construction.
How have you benefited by working with a mentor every day?
Being able to work with other engineers has really helped with learning the software used by Sundt and how they are all integrated. I have been able to learn the basics of Prolog and Heavyjob, along with understanding the important roles that these, JDE, and P6 scheduling play in the success of the project.
Best book read recently:
A Walk In The Woods
App you couldn’t live without?
Probably Pandora. I like being able to listen to music when I am sitting at the computer.
Favorite quote/inspirational saying?
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.” Robert Collier
What advice would you give for the future interns of Sundt?
Make a point to meet everybody.