Hartmann hones technical, professional skills as project engineer intern at Clayco

July 28, 2022

Jack Hartmann on site at Clayco

Jack Hartmann is spending the summer at an internship at Clayco.

Internships allow students to gain industry experience and network with professionals.

Jack Hartmann, a civil engineering major, is spending his summer at Clayco, Inc., a real estate, architecture, engineering, design-build and construction firm. We asked Jack about his experience there so far.

Tell us about your internship at Clayco, Inc. What’s your role and primary responsibility?

I’m a Project Engineer at Clayco. As an intern, my central task is to make calls for buyout, review submittals, perform takeoffs and observe the tasks performed on site.

What’s a typical day like?

I start my morning off with a PM/Foreman Meeting at 6:30 a.m. every day so that everybody is on the same page for daily activities. We perform Stretch & Flex to a song on a boombox with all of the foreman and laborers on site at 7 a.m. Spending 5 minutes to stretch every morning will reduce the chances of an ergonomic injury. I then wait for directions from my boss on which task that he would like me to take the first attempt at. My boss will then go back over my work to verify that I successfully touched all of my bases before submitting it. Occasionally, I’ll be in the field performing manual labor with our superintendent.

How did Mizzou Engineering prepare you for this internship?

Mizzou Engineering taught me a little bit about the basics of the job site, such as the color code of flagging. I knew that the yellow flags were signifying a gas line, and that white lines signify a proposed excavation. Intermediate Strengths of Materials taught me the concept of why we have expansion joints that expand up to 4 inches in the building. The reasoning is because the summer’s high temperature causes the joints to expand while the winter’s freezing temperatures cause the joints to compress.

How did Mizzou Engineering Career Services assist you with securing or preparing for this internship?

Clayco was my No. 1 choice out of the few jobs that I applied for, and I still hadn’t heard back from them in early November. I talked to Ciarra Tibbs [senior recruitment specialist in Student Services] about my concerns that I might not hear back from Clayco, and she advised me to call the front office just to verify if anybody has looked at it, yet. It never hurts to reach out to a company and show initiative. Not 14 hours after I called in, I received a call from Clayco’s front office asking me to come to the next day’s interview. It was a blessing that I called in at that time because the company squeezed me in with the final round of interviewers from the west and east coasts. I was hired two days later!

What have you enjoyed most working at Clayco so far?

I enjoy working with a larger scale project because I was hoping that constant work would be performed while I’m on the job site. There are nearly 10 subcontractors on site at all times, so I can watch electrical work, panel standing, racking, roof work or plumbing throughout the day. I never find myself completely at a loss for what I can observe.

What have you learned from your internship experience?

This internship has improved my handiness skills. The manual labor that we perform has familiarized me with more tools and valuable traits that will help me become more tool-oriented in the future. I understand how we coordinate with subcontractors and prepare the scope of work for them to perform with a deadline. I am also still learning how to run the day-to-day tasks of project engineering. Eight weeks may not be enough time to cover all aspects of my position, but I’m confident that I will be able to perform it full-time in the future.

What advice would you give other students wanting to have a similar internship experience?

My biggest piece of advice is if you aren’t in a club right now, join one! I was the president of Concrete Canoe last year, and my communication skills greatly improved. I know how leadership works and how to take on what appears to be too much to handle. You’ll know how to balance both your work life and your free time. Most of all, apply anywhere! It never hurts to broaden your horizon.

Is there anything else you’d like others to know about your internship?

Do not be afraid to ask questions. We all step on to the job site with different backgrounds. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you know when you start your internship; asking questions is going to make all the difference for your future. Absorb as much information as possible with the time you have!

Thanks for sharing!

Learn more about how civil engineering at Mizzou can prepare you for the workforce.