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A Day in the Life of a B&A Intern: 2022 Edition

Meet Charles Franc.

When Charles (Charlie) Franc attended a career fair at Iowa State University last spring, he had promising conversations about a variety of opportunities. However, it was the connection he made with the folks at the Bulley & Andrews (B&A) table that convinced him to apply to the summer internship program. A few months later, the same person who told him all about B&A greeted him on the first day of his internship and became his mentor.

A civil engineering student set to graduate in May 2025, Charlie shared his experience was everything he hoped it would be. Here’s what he had to say:

Why did you want to intern with B&A?
I was interested to see how a mid-sized construction company operates in comparison to larger construction firms with offices around the nation. I quickly learned B&A has a broad reach geographical reach while still feeling very boutique-like and accessible. Early on, it was evident that B&A celebrates each employee, colleagues know one another by name and face, and each team members’ work is respected regardless of what department they serve.

What was your favorite project to assist with and why?
My time was devoted to the McHenry County Courthouse historic rehabilitation and I could not have asked for a better opportunity for first-hand learning. Working on a building that was first built in 1851 taught me about the historic challenges associated with construction and how to manage unforeseen conditions. The challenges, and how the team developed solutions, created major learning opportunities that I will leverage throughout my career.

What surprised you most about B&A’s internship program?
What surprised me the most about B&A’s internship program was how involved I was able to be with the project to which I was assigned. From the start, it was clear my mentors wanted me to be gain knowledge and be successful with my responsibilities. They dedicated time to make sure my experience was not only benefiting the firm but benefitting my internship experience.

What new skill/concept did you learn while interning?
I learned to use Procore, a project management software, to process submittals and organize procurement logs. I also became familiar with Structionsite to record progress photos and Bluebeam to markup and review drawings. On top of learning to work with these programs, I learned how important it is to build relationships with everyone that is involved in a project. Whether it is the owner or the people working onsite, the connections I made significantly contributed to my memorable experience as an intern.

Describe how you interacted with the directors and executive team at B&A?
I didn’t expect to interact with directors and the executive team. However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn how involved they are with all levels of the organization. Even Tim Puntillo, chief operating officer, attended an intern gathering to get to know us and learn how our internships were going. This exemplified how B&A is committed to developing and offering a meaningful internship experience.

What is your #1 takeaway from this experience?
My biggest lesson learned is to ask questions. I would not have learned as much as I have if I did not ask questions that helped me connect to my work. I was told to “be a sponge” at the beginning of my internship; doing that helped me make the most of this experience.

Sydney Poglayen, fourth from the right.

Meet Sydney Poglayen.

Sydney Poglayen had a deep connection to Bulley & Andrews, long before she was an intern. With her grandpa and dad employed by the firm, the construction industry and B&A’s drive for excellence is always on her mind. So, when she was invited to be a part of the firm’s summer intern class of 2022, the decision to participate was, as they say, a no-brainer. Despite her connections, Sydney knew it was up to her to make the most of her experience. Before she headed back to Western Carolina University for her junior year, she shared some insight about her time at B&A.

Why did you want to intern with B&A?
I wanted to intern with Bulley & Andrews because I wanted to understand the field of construction and how it related to my degree. Construction was not a new idea for me but some of the concepts and management practices were. Being able to harness real life experience was a deciding factor in participating in the summer internship program and I am gratified to say I learned a lot.

What projects did you assist with while interning?
I was able to get first-hand experience with the firm’s healthcare division, focusing on five unique projects: Northwestern Medicine’s Central DuPage Hospital ICU renovation; Northwestern Medicine’s North Campus signage project; NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Skokie Hospital spine x-ray room renovation; Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s hybrid cath lab renovation; and Adventist’s Bolingbrook Hospital’s medical office building infusion clinic renovation.

What is your favorite memory interning at B&A?
I made a lot of memories on the project site visits coordinated for interns. It was fun to see where my fellow interns were and to see the projects they were working on. The site visits were also very memorable because we got to meet new people in the field and ask questions that helped me gain even more knowledge.

How has your social service participation during your internship inspired you to give back to the community further?
B&A’s encouragement to volunteer and give back taught me what it means to be a part of a community. It is encouraging to see a company committed to social service work and genuinely enjoys helping others. It is also inspiring to see employees participate in such events not because they are required to, but because they want to.

What are some challenges you have had to overcome while interning?
My biggest challenge coming into this internship was the fact that this was my first one. It was hard to prepare myself and know what to expect. I had just declared my major in construction management, so coming into a new opportunity with only a semester worth of classes under my belt was nerve racking. However, it was one of the best decisions I have made.

What was your favorite part about working in the B&A office or your project site?
My favorite part about working in the B&A office was the atmosphere. Everyone was always very helpful and seemed to really enjoy what they do. The people I interacted with took pride in their work and it reflected in their ethics. It was refreshing to see such a great group of people working together and really finding happiness in introducing their projects to someone new.

Was the internship experience different than what you thought it was going to be?
Any other experience I have will be hard to stack up because B&A did a great job of keeping interns engaged and busy with projects. There was a lot of opportunity for exposure and continued education and my mentors did a fantastic job of making sure each day was worthwhile.