Daniel San Gabino (McCormick ’16) is a civil engineering major. He spent this summer as a project management and construction intern at Lendlease Construction Inc.
What are your main internship responsibilities – from daily tasks to bigger projects?
During my internship, I have had the opportunity to assist several project managers on the 451 E. Grand (Parkview) and the Abe & Ida Cooper Center projects. Parkview is a $251 million, 68-story high-rise building designed by renowned New York architect Robert A.M. Stern located in Streeterville. On the other hand, the Cooper Center is a small, 16,000 square-foot office facility funded by Jewish Child & Family Services located in Chicago’s far North Side. For Parkview, we are currently in the process of bidding out the job to various subcontractors and providing preconstruction services to our client, Related Midwest. This task includes preparing bid packages for trades such as earth retention, caissons, elevator, precast concrete and excavation. We then host scope review meetings with the various companies to discuss their bid before we award various trades the job. I have also generated and filed cost analysis reports, submittals, and request for information documents. As for the Cooper Center, we have just broken ground and I have helped with submittal documentation and preconstruction meetings.
What have you enjoyed the most about your internship?
Throughout my internship, I have had to integrate my undergraduate knowledge of structural, geotechnical, environmental, transportation, and foundation engineering on and off the job-site in order to accomplish my day to day tasks and responsibilities. I really have to thank the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering for preparing me so well to take the next step into the real world. My ultimate goal is to be the project manager on a skyscraper project in Chicago, and after this internship I can say that I am one step closer towards accomplishing that goal. Upon graduation, it would be a dream come true to have a full-time job with Lendlease.
What advice do you have for students pursuing internships in this field?
I would recommend that students interested in pursuing internships in civil engineering or construction do a lot of research about the companies beforehand so you have a better idea of the type of projects and areas they specialize in. My past two internships were mainly transportation-based and I was able to work on a highway and light rail train expansion in Illinois and Colorado. This time around, I knew that I wanted to go into building construction so I decided to go with the top residential builder in the Midwest which is Lendlease, who built the Trump Tower. Calling companies for information and creating an excel spreadsheet compiling all of your research is invaluable and allows you to visually compare and assess your options.