A Day in the Life of a B&A Intern: 2023 Edition, Part 2
Meet Andrew Oles
Andrew Oles is no stranger to Bulley & Andrews (B&A). The Arizona State University senior and avid builder of LEGOs (the largest set he assembled was the Tower Bridge containing 4,300 pieces), decided to return to B&A this summer for a second internship. He wanted more exposure to the construction process, but to re-engage with the B&A community of which he has grown fond.
How exactly did Andrew’s second round as a B&A intern differ from his first experience? Here’s what he had to say:
Why did you want to do a second internship with B&A?
I wanted to work with B&A again because of the company’s culture. B&A’s teams are incredibly hardworking and strive to be the best, while achieving quality work—which is what I admire most about the company.
What was your favorite project to assist with and why?
I enjoyed working on all my projects, but the assignment I learned the most from was Housing Forward project which is ground up construction. It taught me about many aspects of a project I hadn’t encountered yet. For example, the types of permits and certifications needed, as well as the components it takes to achieve a project’s budget which is constrained to only a vendor’s donations.
What philanthropic efforts have you participated in during your time at B&A?
The interns volunteered at Nourishing Hope where we packed meals for people in need. We moved over 3,000 pounds of food throughout their warehouse. It was a fun experience because it allowed us to connect as a group.
How has the internship taught you soft skills, such as office etiquette and how to establish productive working relationships?
I observed other employees who have worked at B&A for a long time and took mental notes about how they work and communicate. I started implementing some of their habits into my daily life and it has been helpful.
Was the internship experience different than what you thought it was going to be?
Yes, during last year’s internship I worked on only one project. This year, I helped with three different projects. This exposure to diverse projects allowed me to learn different facets of the construction process.
What are some challenges you have had to overcome while interning?
There is a lot I do not know about the construction industry. But that challenge is also what makes the job exciting—there is something new to learn every day. Another challenge I overcame is the fear of sounding unintelligent. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure every question I asked was valid, which made me miss many learning opportunities. Overcoming this fear has bolstered my professional development.
What is your #1 takeaway from this experience?
Waiting for something to come to you will get you nowhere. If you want to get something done, you must be willing to pick up the phone, or take a trip to the job site. Waiting for people to get things done for you will not make things happen. Understanding this lesson made me more hands-on and assertive with the tasks and projects I was assigned during my internship.
Meet Ethan Oles
No, you’re not seeing double…Ethan Oles is Andrew’s twin brother. And like brother, Ethan returned for a second internship with B&A. He spent his summer assisting the corporate, commercial and restoration (CCR) group. A construction management student at the Arizona State University, Ethan has construction running through his family’s blood. Ethan and Andrew’s father has worked with B&A’s healthcare group on projects for Loyola Medicine.
After working on The Belden-Stratford renovation during his first internship, and this year at 4K Studios, Ethan shares how these experiences have shaped him.
What surprised you most about B&A’s internship program?
The amount of training B&A provides to interns and staff is incredible. The training helped me tremendously throughout my internship. It was a great way to learn some of the basics of construction, such as preconstruction or site work.
What was your favorite project to assist with and why?
My favorite project while interning with Bulley & Andrews was The Belden-Stratford. I enjoyed how intricate the process of renovating a 100-year-old historic building, in the heart of the city, was. I enjoyed all the challenges that arose while working on the project and how it taught me many lessons that I was able to use for my project at 4K Studios.
If you could choose another department in the firm to work with, who or what would it be and why?
I would want to work with the healthcare group. I love the healthcare world and find the building/renovation of operating rooms is interesting to me. Working in a healthcare environment would be great because I would love to work in a hospital setting and see the workflow of doctors and nurses.
What did you most enjoy about B&A’s culture (un-related to your assignments)?
I really enjoyed how close everyone is. No matter the division or type of work you’re involved with, everyone seems really close and enjoy interacting.
What is your favorite memory interning at B&A?
This year’s intern cookout. I had an amazing time interacting with everyone. Being a second-year intern, I’ve gotten to know a good amount of the people which creates such a fun atmosphere to work in.
What was your favorite part about working in the B&A office or your project site?
My favorite part was the amount of learning I did throughout my two internships. Every day, there was something new to learn, which was very exciting because I’m going into my last year of college. I’m confident I can use the knowledge I gained from my internships and apply it to my undergraduate studies in construction management.
After interning with B&A, has your ”dream job” changed?
My dream job is the same; working with B&A has shown me how exciting construction is and armed with me with real-world skills that I will take with me into the professional world.