Hello fellow interns, McKinstry employees, and random people who stumbled along this blog by chance!
My name is Michael Kinahan, and I am a first-year intern in the Major’s Fire Protection Department. This fall, I will be a Junior at Washington State University entering my first year in the Construction Management Program. My goal in writing for the Blue Blog this summer is to give past, present, and future interns a glance into my internship at McKinstry during these chaotic and unprecedented times.
I was born in Pittsburgh but have spent most of my life in Seattle. I tend to spend my free time enjoying typical adolescent teen activities, such as socializing with my peers, fishing, and listening to music at deafening volumes. I got my first experience in the construction industry in the role of a residential construction laborer, which I spent three and a half grueling summers “enjoying.” The more I worked, the more construction became a part of my identity, and I became aware that wanted to take a bigger role in the industry moving forward.
When I first entered the world of commercial construction, I had compiled a list of elements of construction that are generalized across the reaches of the industry, from building a shed to a skyscraper. However, the more I work at McKinstry, the more all these preconceived notions of how the industry works have been turned on their head, which has been a humbling experience to say the least. I am in a unique situation during this time because I am one of the few interns granted the opportunity to work from the Seattle office. It is interesting seeing the vast open spaces in the Dawson Building filled with vacant computers. I can only speculate on the liveliness of the office when it is filled with people, but I imagine the energy is refreshing and creates a stimulating work environment.
I am fortunate that my lifelong friend and fellow intern, Ian Hinck, was also afforded the same privilege to work in the office with me. While being one of the few interns in the office does mean I sometimes feel that I am under a microscope, it does come with perks. Mike Irish, a senior account executive and business operations manager, approved a monitor upgrade for Ian and I because no one else was using them. Plus, the free coffee has proven to be a handy resource to help shoulder the burden of the early mornings. Espresso two has been my choice of late.
Even though I have only been an intern for a few short weeks, there are already things that I can reflect on that I have learned. The first is that an attentive and patient mentor is one of the greatest resources that an intern can have. I have had the privilege of working with senior project manager Josh Elliott and project manager Cole Snyder in my first few weeks, and the patience they have when working with me has made me excited to come to work and learn more about the industry every day. The second thing I have learned is the more questions I ask, the more I can learn. I have made it a personal priority of mine to make sure that I am asking as many questions as possible to try and understand every task that I perform fully. While this may take more time at the beginning, it ultimately saves time because I hope to be able to problem solve with less supervision. Finally, I’ve learned that taking pride of in my work, regardless of how important it is, is essential. The effort I put into my work is a reflection on me personally, and a job well done has the potential to save someone else’s time down the road.
I am excited to see what my future at McKinstry holds, as I continue this journey with the rest of my cohort.