Currently, I am entering my fifth year at the Colorado School of Mines, pursuing a major in mechanical engineering with minors in energy and public affairs. Having been born in Edmonds, Wash., I was quite shaken by the move to Colorado. The air is so much thinner, the flora is so much drier, and the people are so much more…outdoorsy. Beer is a really big thing here. Oceans are not. Even the Coloradan flag is more cheerful than its Washingtonian peer. Regardless, I found my place in Colorado riding bikes, researching fuel cells, leading Mines Sustainability, and camping in the Rocky Mountains whenever possible.[Read more…]
Editor’s Note: We asked 2019 intern Jason Orr to reflect on his summer at McKinstry, respond to a few questions, and share his tips, best practices and suggestions for future interns.
Q: What are the keys to a successful internship at McKinstry?
A: Everyone has a unique experience here. The work from position to position varies greatly, and the departments themselves work on very different projects. However, across all positions there are a few key actions that can help future interns be successful.
The first is to get to know your immediate team. These are the people you’ll be spending the most time with, meaning you can learn the most from their expertise. Work hard with your team, but also get to know people on a personal level.
Secondly, you should go to as many events as you can fit into your schedule. The B.L.U.E. Program team does a fantastic job scheduling events and giving interns opportunities to learn about relevant topics. At these events, you should get to know a variety of people—everyone has a unique story to tell.
Lastly, future interns should connect with people at McKinstry who have the same hobbies/interests if you want to make a deeper connection outside of the office. I ended up rock climbing this summer with two awesome fellow employees at Little Si (a mountain outside of Seattle). It was an amazing experience![Read more…]
Growing up, I always loved science and math. When those two classes combined in my high school physics course, I decided to major in engineering. Though I wasn’t sure what being an engineer would specifically entail in the professional world, I knew that my many interests (math, physics, science, tech, Boeing’s newest jet, epic LEGO Star Wars sets, etc…) put me in a place where studying to become an engineer made sense.
What I hadn’t accounted for was my development into a full extrovert. I love people. I love hearing stories about where they’ve been and where they come from, what they do and how they got there, meeting new people, working with people…you get the idea.
Stereotypically, engineers are not known as “social butterflies.” My love for people has sometimes made me unsure whether I’d picked the right major during college. I’m happy to say that my experience at McKinstry has shifted me back toward confidence in myself and my future career.[Read more…]
As I reflect on my summer here at McKinstry, I’m blown away at what I’ve learned. Not only have I expanded my knowledge of the construction industry, I’ve grown as a human being. Distilling all of that growth into three main takeaways is difficult, but it helps me mentally digest what I’ve learned in the past 12 weeks.[Read more…]
Greetings once again! For those who don’t remember my first post, I’m Jason Orr. I’m working as a mechanical design intern on the Energy team in Seattle this summer. Since arriving in May, I’ve experienced a steep learning curve. Luckily, my all-star team is full of patient and flexible people willing to help a rookie like me.
In short, McKinstry’s Energy team is responsible for projects that involve existing buildings. Since humans aren’t perfect, the buildings we design aren’t either. We try to ensure that, say, a hospital that’s been standing for 100 years is there for 100 more. In the age of sustainability, another goal of ours is to make everything more efficient. How can we save the customer money while also saving the planet?[Read more…]
Q: How would you describe what you’re doing this summer in 50 words or less?
A: As a construction intern for McKinstry’s Phoenix office, my role includes assisting in the coordination and documentation of project-related activities, specifically for a project at the University of Arizona.
Q: What’s one thing about McKinstry that you’ve been surprised to discover this summer?
A: I’ve been truly impressed by the quality of the people. Everyone I’ve come across at McKinstry has been amazingly kind, competent and helpful.
Q: What misconceptions do you think people have about being an intern?
A: One misconception (and borderline fear) for many students about being an intern is that you’ll be getting coffee instead of doing valuable work that can help build your career. One of my personal misconceptions was that I would be expected to know a lot more than I do. However, my experience at McKinstry has been that you do not know what you do not know, and asking questions is encouraged. Asking questions has given me the opportunity to get the most out of my internship and gain a lot of valuable experience.[Read more…]
One of the things that attracted me to McKinstry’s internship program was the opportunity to work on a team where I was of tangible use. So far, my experience has been just that—I’ve been an entry-level design engineer who gets to learn while doing work that needs to be done.
Energy auditing and mechanical design adjustments to boost energy efficiency has been the name of the game for me as I’ve worked in the Spokane office this summer.
During my first week on the job, I traveled with Derek Larson, a design engineer, to a small town in the rolling hills of the Palouse. McKinstry recently helped a small school district there win a large grant to fund an elementary school renovation. The building itself was two stories and made up of several classrooms, office spaces and a gym whose layout was engraved into stone tablets by an architect in the Jurassic era (OK, it was 1927). Adaptations and renovations since then have added offices and rooms to the plans we didn’t know about until we stepped into the school.[Read more…]
Editor’s Note: For his second blog post of the summer, Aidan chose to recap “The B.L.U.E. Experience”—a two-day program from June 25-26 that brought all our interns to Seattle to learn about McKinstry and bond with each other. Click here to read Aidan’s first blog post introducing himself.
An event called The B.L.U.E Experience is sure to stir up some curiosity in those attending. We’ve all been to events that didn’t meet expectations, but I’m happy to say that The B.L.U.E. Experience fully lived up to the intrigue its name evoked![Read more…]
My name is Aidan Korper and I’m working as a project engineering intern on McKinstry’s Fire Protection team at the Portland, Ore. office. I’m a rising junior at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, studying construction management.
When I started my search for a summer internship, I focused my search in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve always heard such great things about the area, from its vast forests to explore and opportunities for fun on two wheels to its unique culture and down-to-earth people (I’ve confirmed these things are true!). I figured if I could make it work logistically, I would drive out to the west coast for a summer of learning and exploring!
Through some research and connections I made through school and travels during spring semester, I had narrowed my search to a few companies I felt were on the forefront of the construction industry. It seemed like a long shot but with some hard work, good timing, and a whole lotta’ luck, I was able to secure an internship position with one of the top companies on my list—McKinstry! With McKinstry’s passion for sustainable building/design and drive to think beyond the traditional construction process, I knew there was truly no better program and group of people I could learn from.[Read more…]
So, first things first, my legal name is not Bunji. I was born in Kagoshima, Japan, on the south end of the island Kyushu. Originally, my mother wanted to give me the name Benjamin. However, I’ve been told “benjo” is Japanese slang for toilet, which must have been why I soon was born—”legally”—as Jason Shang McLeod.
That name didn’t last long. In the operating room, my dad mentioned that the umbilical cord for a baby is like a bungee cord with a little human attached to the end. My mom didn’t think it was as funny as he did, but I quickly became baby Bunji—much like the name Benji (i.e. Benjamin), but with a little extra spring of uniqueness in it. It has no meaning in Japanese, no cultural rooting in my Taiwanese ethnicity, and no daredevil bungee jump that deemed me worthy of such a nickname. It’s simply my name now.
Three years after jumping into this world, I moved to Bellingham, Wash., where I lived underneath the smells of damp shade and never-ending greenery. There, I took two classes with a high school teacher who has shaped my college experience more than any other: Mr. Doud. The local legend of a physics teacher could inspire us to tackle any mathematical challenge with passionate fervor, using only a pen, whiteboard and cheesy one-liners developed over decades of classes. Because of him, I am here now in Spokane going into my fourth year of mechanical engineering and working at McKinstry.[Read more…]