Hayley Kenyon, a Keene State College senior, has spent the past three months working as an intern at the construction site for the new Cheshire County Courthouse in Keene, NH. She spent two mornings a week on site, working alongside Rick Bushway, MacMillin’s Superintendent. Kenyon and Bushway made brief but regular visits to MacMillin’s headquarters, and recently we had the opportunity to ask some questions.
Name: Hayley Kenyon
Hometown: Exeter, RI
Keene State College Coursework: Candidate for Bachelor of Science in Architecture, 2014.
What made you decide to do an internship at a construction site? I took two courses in construction management during my junior year and my teacher suggested that he could help me find an internship. I wanted to connect what I was learning in the classroom to real-life experience and knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity. I was given a choice of working on-site at the Courthouse or with a group still in the planning and preconstruction phase and chose the Courthouse even though I knew it would mean some cold mornings.
What did you think you might learn? In my commercial construction classes we studied architectural drawings and how they are translated by the trades on-site. There are often disconnects between what is shown on the paper and what needs to be built. I saw some examples of how easy it is for this to happen. For example, there are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Requirements for the toilet partitions that were identified in the subcontractor’s shop drawings, but didn’t appear in the construction documents. Rick and I had to make sure the requirements were actually built and reflected in the “as-built” drawings.
Were there any surprises about how a project comes together? Scheduling is so important! 99% of your work can be several weeks ahead of schedule, but if one trade has had an issue or is behind in their work, all of the other trades might have to wait in order to start the next phase of work or to get into a section of the building. You can fall behind very quickly. This job is finishing one week ahead of schedule despite some additional work, so we are very proud of the whole team.
Did the internship experience impact or cross over into any of your other classes? Being on-site twice a week greatly enhanced my classroom experience and really helped piece together a lot of my “textbook” learning.
How did your soccer season end up? It was a great season. We won the Little East Conference (LEC) Championship and went to the NCAA tournament. (Kenyon is on the Varsity Women’s Soccer Team at Keene State College.)
Bushway summed up Kenyon’s internship by saying, “She’s an awesome learner – very attentive. She’d better be submitting a job application.” Kenyon said the College helps seniors assemble portfolios of their experience. She is currently feeling out the job market and thinking about her next opportunity.