College students gain valuable hands-on technical experience through Alten Construction’s internship program
Alten Construction is routinely shopping for personalities. The full-service San Francisco Bay Area commercial construction company is always looking to develop its workforce with talented and enthusiastic individuals who are willing to help deliver exceptional general contracting services.
The greatest strength of a company is its people; and everyone that works at Alten Construction is part of the Alten family. This summer, that includes eight college students who are working alongside Alten Construction project engineers, project managers and superintendents to learn more about the construction industry and the technical skills required to do the job effectively.
For years, Alten Construction has hired college interns to further their knowledge of the construction industry and gain valuable hands-on experience while assisting with a variety of different projects Alten Construction is currently working on, such as the San Rafael Public Safety Center, The Jonas Center at the College of Marin in Novato, Calif., Contra Costa County Fire Prevention District Station 70 in San Pablo, Calif. and Albany High School, among numerous others.
At Alten Construction, the internship planning process typically begins 10 months in advance. With many campuses opening up registration in the fall for the following year, Andrew Nortz, vice president of operations for Alten Construction, and Eric Onick, senior project manager for Alten Construction, are already looking ahead to next year.
Andrew and Eric, who both studied construction management at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Chico State University, respectively, serve as the two primary leaders of the internship program. The two attended construction management career fairs and information sessions looking for students who are enthusiastic about the experience and are willing to ask questions.
“We tell all of the interns and everyone that we interview that we’re not shopping for technical expertise. We’re shopping for personalities and good employees,” says Andrew, who was part of Alten Construction’s intern program in 2005. “We want to see positive attitudes and a willingness and eagerness to learn.”
Alten Construction puts each of its interns in a position where they can learn the job and mentor under experienced professionals. Over the course of the 12-week program, each of the interns are given a different specific project to work while learning more about the company.
Every project engineer has a project list, and each intern engineer is responsible for tackling the items on that list as well. During their time at Alten Construction, the interns have the opportunity to learn a variety of new technical skills, such as writing RFI’s, understanding ASI’s and basic plan reading. Through the internship program, students also gain a better understanding of what a career in commercial construction entails, including communicating with and working alongside subcontractors, walking around the job site and documenting work, among other tasks.
"We are constantly impressed with the young people that we get,” says Andrew. “They’ve had information available at their fingertips all of their lives, and they keep getting better at using it. They are smart and sharp, and it’s not just one or two. It’s all of them. It’s incredible watching these students and seeing them develop over the course of the summer. "
Alten Construction Company wishes this year’s interns much success, and we hope to see their familiar faces around in the future. Thank you to Brandon Keefer, Andrew Shafer, Adam Stenberg, Nicholas Matson, Collin Martin, Will Ott, Oliver Leograndis and Abram Briones-Colman for being part of our summer internship program!