Axel’s Intern Experience – Assembling Trucks, Assembling a Career

Hey! My name is Axel Soto, and I am from Bradenton, FL. I am a fourth-year civil engineering undergraduate studying at the Florida State University. Before starting my internship at Alberici, I had no previous experience. I am interning at the paint shop expansion at the General Motors Mid-size Truck Assembly in Wentzville, MO.

I chose construction because it’s a field that I find very interesting, from seeing millwrights assemble machinery to ironworkers set up head steel. Seeing how a project begins from placing a bid to getting managers, directors and superintendents on the same page to inform their workers, to putting the last piece of steel on the project is a unique experience. I chose to intern for Alberici because I wanted to experience a project firsthand where I could get the opportunity to partake in the project and freely approach labor workers about their experience and knowledge of working in construction.

On a typical day, I would track OT daily work-hours and report it to our general contractor. I would tag along with a different staff and labor worker for a while to see what they do during the shutdown. From time to time, I would get some free time, so I would work on getting my OSHA 30 Certification and explore the +500-acreage assembly plant.

It took me a while to comprehend the vocabulary used in the construction industry, but I quickly got up to speed. What surprised me the most is how fast-paced the automotive industry is. Our project had an eight-week shutdown to get everything built safely and ready for production.

My favorite part of my internship would have to be getting to know the people at Alberici from market leaders, directors, senior project managers and fellow interns. The support that the company has for their internship program is reflected by the events, tours and people who expose us as much as possible in the field and projects.

I love to travel and try new foods, so I took advantage of living in a completely new part of the country and toured St. Louis as much as possible. I tried foods that St. Louis is known for like toasted ravioli and their St. Louis style barbecue. I also traveled to nearby cities like Chicago, Kansas City and Indianapolis and toured those cities as well.