Student interns at Events Center construction
Andy Richter is building his future by constructing CMU.
The Troy senior’s internship with Clark Construction Company has allowed him the opportunity to utilize his knowledge of construction management and assist in the building of CMU’s new Events Center.
His favorite thing — being a student working on the project.
“It makes it twice as great,” Richter said. “Not only do I know people that will use it and like it, but people will be using that facility forever. I actually get to be involved with campus history.”
When he obtained his internship last summer, he said he had no idea he would be helping with construction at CMU.
The program can get pretty overwhelming, he said, and it is difficult to juggle 12-hour work days with a full class schedule.
“It’s still very overwhelming,” Richter said. “I know there are some things out there that I don’t know enough about.”
Robert Lalonde, senior project manager of Clark Construction Company and Richter’s supervisor, said Richter is learning a lot and picking up on the process quickly.
Richter performed very well as an intern, Lalonde said.
“He performed much higher than we expect an intern to perform,” Lalonde said. “We pretty much took him on as a part of our project, not just for an internship. We’d like to expose him to how a project closes out.”
Richter’s day-to-day work involves gathering paperwork, preparing and submitting approval forms and logging RFIs -— requests for information — which transfer questions from the construction site to architects.
As a construction management major, Richter said he hopes to one day be a project manager.
He would be responsible for overseeing the building process and ensuring construction goes smoothly. He said this requires constant communication between the sometimes hundreds of contractors working on a project.
“The hardest part is kind of figuring out how everything works, how we communicate with everyone out there,” he said. “At times it can be incredibly difficult, sometimes there’s a lot of personality clash.”
Richter said he has to learn about all the various types of work involved in the construction process and must become as knowledgeable as plumbers, electricians and other types of contractors.
“You have to be an encyclopedia of everything on site,” he said. “That’s why people skills are so important. Dealing with all the experts out there, you have to be an expert in everything.”
“You’re taking a 10-inch stack of drawings and trying to get 100 different people to work together, to be on the same page.” he said.
Now, Richter has his own office in the company’s field office.
“It’s pretty cool — it’s a little exciting, it feels like you’re moving up in the world,” he said. “I love it.”