Hello! My name is Andrea Mills and I’m a recent college graduate from Gonzaga University. I came to McKinstry for an internship with the Enterprise Sales and Marketing team. I wanted to gain more experience and learn about the built environment. I’d always had an interest in buildings and the people who build them, but I never really knew where to start.
Thankfully, my internship helped me decide where to go and how to get there. In fact, I was promoted at the end of my internship—I’m now a business operations coordinator for our Seattle-based Energy team.
Over the course of my internship, I developed my marketing skills and began to wrap my head around the construction industry. I tackled many different kinds of projects: Polishing employee resumes, creating marketing materials and even conducting marketing research on solar power. I found the B.L.U.E. Program to be the best kind of trial and error—it was helpful to figure out my strengths and weaknesses and find out what I’m passionate about as an intern. Now I can apply and act on that knowledge as an employee.
After working on a few projects involving sustainability, I realized that I’m passionate about the environment and improving the way we take care of our planet. I’d been interested in pursuing a sustainability minor in college, but I wasn’t positive at the time and ultimately chose a different path. Fortunately, my internship at McKinstry reawakened that passion for sustainability and showed me a way to work in that arena outside of the academic world.
I’m thrilled to be involved with McKinstry’s sustainability efforts—saving money for building owners while working towards a more efficient built environment. I’m happy to be working for a company that sees sustainability as more than just something to pay lip service to—it’s an important part of our business model.
So, what am I doing now that my internship is over? Well, my new role as business operations coordinator is quite different from what I worked on over the summer. That said, I believe this was a great move for me because it’s important to try new things and avoid being complacent. My new role has never even existed in my department, so it’s been a learning curve for the whole Energy team.
As a business operations coordinator, I have great visibility into many aspects of McKinstry. I work on closing out energy projects as well as handling accounts receivable (payments coming in). In addition to those responsibilities, I’m now taking client surveys, managing my team’s conference program, and basically taking care of anything my department needs. My role is to help our projects succeed in a timely manner and support our business so that the Energy team (and McKinstry) can continue to grow.
I’m very thankful for the B.L.U.E. Program and my internship managers, Collette Duck and Megan Owen. They recruited me, helped show me “The McKinstry Way,” and—at the end of the summer—empowered me to start my career at McKinstry. I can’t wait to see what comes next!