TAKING DUAL LEARNING APPROACH FOR INTERNSHIPS
What happens when an intern and a manager go through training together? For Fulcrum Construction Project Manager Jesse Vodges, and intern, Haydn Raborn, it was important to start Haydn’s internship off on the right foot.
Although they didn’t know what to expect from ConstructReach’s internship program, Jesse and Haydn discovered how beneficial and effective the dual learning approach can be for both interns and those leading them through the experience.
After graduating from the University of Texas at San Antonio, Haydn joined the Fulcrum team in May 2023. He originally applied for the internship because it was a requirement for his degree. After completing the internship, he felt “extremely happy” with his decision.
“I have learned a great deal about the construction industry that I never would have known if I had not taken this opportunity,” Haydn said.
To prepare for Haydn’s onboarding, Jesse reviewed the ConstructReach Program Guidelines and the e-learning module for advisors. He set up an expectations meeting with Haydn, which facilitated intentional conversations about professional and soft skills, as well as planning out goals for Haydn’s internship journey.
“I’m accustomed to the old ways of hands-on training,” Jesse said, “but there is some classroom time that must happen to understand more about the trade.”
The dual learning approach helped Haydn cultivate essential professional skills, such as leadership, time management, teamwork, and communication.
Pathway to Success
Going through the program together helped set a clear path for a successful internship. Jesse was able to ensure Haydn had the essential information he needed as someone new to the industry, and Jesse also took away a few learnings from the e-learning modules.
Haydn’s internship responsibilities at Fulcrum included inviting subcontractors to bid on upcoming projects, helping obtain coverage for all trades before bidding, coordinating requests for information (RFIs) and submittals from trades, and delivering them to the owners and architects.
His biggest learning experience came from seeing a set of plans come together and watching the project be built day by day.
“In school, they just show plans and a finished building,” Haydn said, “but seeing the progress of it all coming to life was amazing.”
Haydn even had the opportunity to oversee a construction project in Austin by himself for a couple of weeks. The internship experience exceeded his expectations.
“Fulcrum Construction feels like a family working together to achieve a common goal,” Haydn said. “I have loved my time here and all of the opportunities for growth that I have been afforded.”
A Framework for Future Growth
Having direct access to a manager during training was incredibly beneficial for Haydn. Being able to have questions answered by someone who already has industry experience helped him gain an understanding of the projects he would be working on.
“Learn as much as you can for as long as you can,” Haydn said. “Learn from the people who have the most experience because they have so much knowledge to share.”
Learning does not stop when the program is completed, Jesse said. He recommends managers keep in contact with their interns throughout their time with the company, checking in on them occasionally and asking them what they have learned so far.
“Experience does not happen overnight,” Jesse said. “You’re constantly learning something new every day. I’m still learning, and I have been in the construction industry for 35 years.”
Haydn plans to continue in the construction industry, learning and growing with every new opportunity. He is grateful Fulcrum and ConstructReach helped him take a successful first step in his career path.