By: Jacob Roerick, U of M Alumnus
Throughout my internship with Cardinal Homebuilders as a Supervising Assistant for new construction sites, I had many great learning experiences that helped me develop into an effective employee in a professional environment. My responsibilities grew exponentially as I learned more and more about the business and its inner workings. My primary responsibilities involved soil sampling potential building sites through proctor compaction tests, and learning the characteristics of soil that were best suited for laying home foundations. I also learned about establishing grades through land surveys, and how to map out the overall drainage system that would route irrigation and rain runoff to sewer systems and drain basins that we established in each development.
Every day on the job site presented a new learning opportunity that helped mold me into an asset for the company. The most difficult learning aspect was operating all of the different types of machinery on the job. From completing soil compaction tests using proctoring tools, to learning how to excavate using a front end loader or a backhoe, I obtained skills that will help me progress in this field. By the third month of the internship experience, I was able to coordinate schedules with subcontractors, meet with city inspectors and engineers to establish approved land surveys, manage the construction of a new housing site, and pass the final inspection that enabled the builders to start erecting homes. The communication skills that I developed through these professional encounters have proven to be extremely beneficial.
Over the course of this extensive internship, there were many highlights. We nearly completed our Oakdale housing development that we began in early spring. By mid-August, I had been given almost complete management control over the development of the remaining eight housing units. As we began our North St. Paul development, my job supervisor spent much of his time at that development preparing new surveys, therefore I was able to hone my management skills even more, while still being able to ask questions over the phone. We set the foundations for the final homes, and finished up any landscaping projects before the winter hit.
I am amazed at how far I came through this career-forming process, and I am excited to pursue a career in this line of work. Every day on the site was extremely entertaining and interesting, as I continued to learn more and more about the trade from contractors and city officials. It is extremely rewarding to look back at my contributions towards making each homeowner’s experience a positive one, and through that, I will continue to work to develop a great reputation for not only myself, but for the company as a whole.