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…]
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…]
Back in the late 1980s, Steve Leonard was living in Southern California and thought he wanted to work for a fire department, maybe as a firefighter. When a friend asked if he would consider working in fire protection design, it changed Steve’s direction and sent him off on a 30-year journey into the world of fire protection.
“No one is born with a passion for sprinklers or alarms, it’s usually a series of twists and turns that bring people into the fire protection industry,” Steve explained. “I didn’t think about fire protection when I was a kid, but I’m glad that my career path led me into this field.”
At McKinstry, we’ve offered fire protection services for decades because identifying and installing the right protection system to prevent or reduce fire damage is fundamental to every project we undertake. McKinstry has built a national reputation for designing and installing fire protection systems for a wide variety of venues—from office, retail, and hotel buildings to stadiums, laboratories, and museums. Owners and designers come to McKinstry for our expertise on systems, costs, and knowledge of all current fire codes and compliance standards for the National Fire Protection Association.
Steve’s fire protection path has been extremely unique at McKinstry. Since joining the company in 2010, he’s lived and worked in three of McKinstry’s major Pacific Northwest offices—Portland, Spokane and Seattle.
“I sometimes joke that I’ve completed the trifecta,” Steve said. “Working in three of our Pacific Northwest offices has been a pleasure, and they all have a different atmosphere that’s still connected by the common McKinstry culture.”
Before I jump into what I’ve learned, what I’ve been working on and what my internship experience has been like thus far at McKinstry, I’d like to take a couple minutes to introduce myself. My name is Ivan Cliff, but most everyone knows me as Mac. My parents named me Ivan to keep the name in the family. I was born and raised in a little town called San Anselmo outside of San Francisco. Ever since I could walk, I’ve been riding a bike—at first around the local school yard and eventually out into the mountains.
I continued to race bikes through high school and the beginning of college, until I decided to ride as a hobby, not a sport. Throughout high school, I worked in a bike shop as a mechanic and that—combined with a passion for speed—is where I discovered my engineering intuition. Fast-forward to today and I’m entering my final year of the mechanical engineering program at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash.
I first heard about McKinstry from a friend who toured the Spokane office two years ago. I attended an open house at the Spokane office in the fall of 2017, and that boosted my interest in joining the McKinstry team. On May 15 of this year, I was thrilled to start work as a design project engineering intern in McKinstry’s Portland, Oregon office through the B.L.U.E. Program.
Studies show that diverse and inclusive organizations have higher-functioning teams, enjoy improved financial performance and attract top-notch talent. While the construction industry has been diversifying for decades, women still make up only about nine percent of people employed in construction. At McKinstry, leaders and team members recognize the importance of continuing to grow and improve diversity and inclusion efforts—and individuals across the organization are bringing their passion, commitment and dedication to fostering inclusivity every day. From serving on advisory committees to bringing unique backgrounds to the table to engaging in tough conversations, these three women are helping to pave the way to greater diversity and inclusion in our industry.
Hello! My name is Taylor Blevins, and I’m a B.L.U.E. Program intern in McKinstry’s Portland office. I first met with a McKinstry representative at the Oregon State University career fair and once I learned more about the company, I knew it would be a good fit for me.
I’m currently a rising senior at Oregon State studying Energy Systems Engineering. I also have some experience in BIM (Building Information Modeling) from my last internship with an architectural firm.
Ever since that internship ended, I’ve wanted to further-develop my skills in building systems and learn more about how buildings consume energy. As an engineer, it’s important that I learn how to help reduce that energy consumption.
Since McKinstry focuses on the mechanical systems of buildings and the energy aspect of buildings, I knew I was in the right place. So far my experience with McKinstry has been tremendous and I’m learning constantly.
Hello! My name is Max King and I’m a B.L.U.E. Program intern at McKinstry’s Portland office. I work on the mechanical majors team, and I’m also studying Construction Management at Washington State University.
When I was pursuing an internship, I knew that one of my family members had previously worked for McKinstry. I thought interning here would be a good way to get my foot in the door with a company that already knows my family’s work ethic.
For my degree program at WSU, there are a few companies that come in nearly every week of the semester to present to students about their company, projects, goals and culture. I made sure to attend the McKinstry presentation and interview with them.
Ultimately, I chose McKinstry because of their commitment to creating a truly sustainable built environment. I wanted to gain experience in the mechanical field and I’d heard good things from my family about McKinstry.