Looking to intern with Alberici?
You’ve come to the right place! My name is Adnan Malkoc, a civil engineering major at Saint Louis University, and this summer I’ve had the tremendous opportunity to intern at Alberici’s very own steel fabrication shop, Hillsdale Fabricators. Here at Hillsdale, we work hand in hand with Alberici and many other contractors to plan, design, and fabricate all types of steel structures. This role differs from some of the other intern experiences you may have read about, as the steel fabrication shop is what is commonly referred to as, “the self-perform side” of Alberici. This means that instead of working on the managerial side on a project site, the work we do here is our own and the work we get done is based on our own time, motivation, and determination. I had always been interested in construction, coming from a family of construction workers and truck drivers. I wasn’t new to getting my hands dirty and tackling projects head on! As I entered my role as an engineering student at SLU, I realized there are many different paths one can take as an engineer. From the design side, the operations side, or the construction side, construction engineering peaked my interest the most. The construction side of engineering allows you to grow and expand your knowledge in ways that you may not have even thought were possible. Being an intern here isn’t what you might expect. You’re not just sitting around or doing busy-work to pass the time. No, you’re involved in many different aspects of the construction world and contribute to your project just as much as a full-time employee would. My direct supervisor, Kenny, is quite literally the best mentor that one could ask for. No matter what I was assigned, or any questions that I may have had, Kenny has always gone above and beyond to make sure I understand everything to the fullest extent. Not only that, but everybody here at Hillsdale is extremely helpful and always willing to help. The experience and exposure that I’ve received this summer thus far has been nothing short of incredible.
Another cool part of Hillsdale is that the steel fabrication shop works on multiple projects at once, so you’re exposed to many different types of projects and all the problems that are encountered within each one. Sometimes this requires the project managers to visit a project site themselves. This was the case a couple weeks ago, when Kenny and I took a day trip to Chicago to visit a few different project sites. It was awesome to travel to a different city and see the steel that was just in the shop, erected in the field! We were able to drive around Chicago and discuss some the infrastructure of the city while also discussing the projects and how they’ve come to where they are now. It was so cool to fly out to a different city and be back home that night, something that is not atypical at Alberici! A typical day here at Hillsdale as an intern consists of being in the office and communicating and working with different sub-contractors, coworkers, or general contractors to schedule and coordinate the steel fabrication for a project, any hiccups or problems that the contractor may have run into during erection of a project, or working with the different departments within Hillsdale to make sure that we’re firing on all cylinders for every project. We also take daily trips down to the fabrication shop itself, where I’ve spent lots of time learning how the steel is processed and assembled. I’ve even been able to help some of the guys fit and weld some steel columns!
One of the coolest parts of being an intern here at Hillsdale is the intern project that I myself get to create. I designed, planned, and coordinated my very own “mini-project”. I was able to go through every phase of the project by starting in the “pre-construction” phase which consisted of planning and pricing the project. Although this may seem like a simple part of the process, it’s actually one of the most important. Even though my project was small and didn’t have tons of steel contributed to it, massive projects like the St. Louis MLS stadium take tons of time and planning before we’re even able to begin working on it. After the planning phase, I was able to use engineering software to design my project. How will it fit together? What are the various dimensions for each piece? Where will the welds be located and how thick will they be? What type and grade of steel will be needed? All questions that I answered by working with the various departments within Hillsdale. Currently, my project is being sent down to the fab shop to be processed and assembled, where I might even get to fit and weld it together! Hopefully I will be able to take it home next week!
So, whether you’re assigned to a project site or the self-perform side of Alberici, you’ll be gaining incredible experience in the construction industry from one of the top leaders in construction in the nation. This internship has not only caused me step out of my bubble, but to learn how to be comfortable outside of my bubble by not being afraid to ask questions, learn and try new things, and overall, have so much fun while encountering new and challenging tasks each and every day!