“When we hire MSOE students and graduates, we get smart, driven, passionate young men and women who know how to work as part of a team, who love to build, and who are determined to make a difference in the world,” said Gary Schreiber, vice president of Power Construction.
Power up: construction management careers
In the construction industry, there is no shortage of career opportunities and one of the most rewarding and successful paths a student can take is into construction management.
Those with a bachelor’s degree in construction management direct building construction projects from conception through completion. Power Construction is a major general contracting and construction management firm based in Chicago. With more than $1 billion in annual revenue, it is ranked #1 on Crain’s Chicago Business’ list of Largest General Contractors. MSOE is one of the first universities Power turns to when it is hiring.
For construction management graduates, their MSOE degree is just the beginning of their success.
“We teach our students all aspects of construction management and challenge them through real-world projects and competition teams,” said Dr. Blake Wentz, chair of MSOE’s Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management Department. “This hands-on education gives them knowledge and experience in construction materials and methods, estimating, scheduling, project management, and more.”
“Career paths at Power are always self-directed, and CM grads have their choice of roles and project types,” said Schreiber. “Our different business groups include what we affectionately refer to as ‘Big’ Power, VIP Group, Workplace Group, Luxury Residence Group, Aviation Group as well as our VDC, Preconstruction, Concrete, and Carpentry/Drywall teams. Our employees are encouraged to explore all areas that interest them. We’ve found MSOE graduates to have heart, perseverance, a proven ability to multi-task, a can-do attitude and energy, and a passion for making a difference.”
Year after year, MSOE students win multiple regional, national and international competitions. This includes the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Region 3 Conference and Student Competitions, Mechanical Contractors Association of America Student Chapter Competition, and DBIA’s National Design-Build Student Competition, among others.
These competitions, coupled with instruction and projects in business administration, basic scientific and engineering principles, and construction science, building information modeling (BIM), and project management techniques help students develop into professionals who are savvy about current industry practices and educated for a lifetime of learning.
“I’ve had the privilege of helping to coach three of the early MSOE national championship teams as well as witness the final presentations of all the competing schools,” said Schreiber. “The growth these student participants achieve is truly remarkable.”
“MSOE’s construction management program is absolutely one of this country’s leading institutions when it comes to its long history of fielding winning competition teams,” he continued. “In our eyes, academic competition teams are absolutely one of the most valuable learning opportunities for any student. They build self-confidence and teamwork skills simultaneously.”
Gary's Tips for Success:
- Gain internship or co-op work experience with a mix of general contractors/construction managers (and maybe even a subcontractor).
- Participate in ASC or related student competition programs.
- Balance a mix of academic, work, athletic and/or volunteer commitments.
- Proactively participate in on-campus construction student organizations.
- Visit a number of job sites and construction offices.