Category: Career Development

MCA-Omaha Student Chapter Member Finds Internship Opportunities with MCAA Members

Last summer, Caleb Kowalski, a member of the MCAA student chapter at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, had the opportunity to work with Southland Industries in Las Vegas, Nevada. During his internship, Caleb performed various project management tasks on the site of a new hotel and casino.

“This gave me great insight into the industry by being a part of one of the biggest construction projects in Las Vegas. My team members at Southland Industries were great resources for me and were always willing to help me along the way, and I am grateful for this incredible experience,” he said.

This summer, Caleb will stay closer to home and intern for MMC Mechanical Contractors, Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska. As a member of their operations team, he will  be doing project management work at local job sites.

Caleb reflects, “while being a part of MCA-Omaha, I have been able to travel to multiple MCAA events, including the 2018 GreatFutures Forum and the 2019 MCAA Convention.”

Caleb received the William A. Bianco Jr. Memorial Scholarship at MCAA19. He was also recently elected as the MCA-Omaha Academy President for 2020.

“Since joining MCA-Omaha, I have had opportunities that I never thought were possible, and I know this is the industry for me,” he added.

MCAA congratulates Caleb on all his successes, and on finding his great future in our industry.

You can meet student chapter members like Caleb at MCAA2020. Don’t miss the Networking & Recruiting 360 event Wednesday, March 18, 9:00 am – 11:00 am. MCAA thanks Viega for  sponsoring the event.

To preview students’ resumes, visit mcaagreatfutures.org.

Please contact Harlee Mooney if you have questions about any of our student activities or the internship grants funded by the Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF).

USC Graduate Found Career Path with MCAA & CPMCA Support

Kathy Deng, a Mechanical Engineering graduate from the University of Southern California, a past MCAA student chapter member, and a current Design Engineer at Murray Company reflects on her experiences in college and how MCAA and CPMCA helped guide her to her career path:

I obtained my B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Southern California (USC) in May 2018. Currently I am an Engineer in Training (EIT) at Murray Company, something I never would have expected before my senior year.

Many students at USC have already set their career goals by the time they enter college. Some of my mechanical engineering (ME) classmates had received job offers at the beginning of their senior year, and most of my ME friends ended up working in computer programming, aerospace, and the automobile industry. However, none of these areas excited me. I took some time to explore, working in a financial firm, joining a robotics competition, and taking programming courses and lots of aerospace classes. Yet, I could not find any passion in these fields. I felt lost.

During my senior year, one ME classmate asked if I would be interested in joining a construction competition. I thought it might be a good chance to explore different fields and so I joined. It turned out to be one of the best decisions in my life. It was so special to be a designer of part of the building, and I felt so accomplished. I found construction very interesting, but as an ME student, I felt a little bit out of place without a civil engineering degree.

That was until a few months later, I had the opportunity to go to the MCAA Annual Convention, where I met many students in ME, civil engineering and construction management. During one of the social events, the ladies in Women in the Mechanical Industry enlightened me about the value of mechanical engineers in construction.

I was encouraged and started looking for mechanical contractor jobs. Later in 2018, I volunteered at the CPMCA Technology Day event, where I had a chance to talk to CPMCA Executive Director Chip Martin. Surprised to hear that I was still searching for jobs in this field, Mr. Martin kindly shared my resume with several mechanical contractors. Not long after, Murray Company set up an interview with me, and eventually hired me to be a design engineer in their engineering department. I am so thankful to be working at this company with fun, supportive and knowledgeable coworkers and managers helping in my pursuit to be a Professional Engineer in HVAC, and I am glad that I can apply my ME knowledge in a field I am passionate about.

Thinking back, my winding career path was actually a great learning experience. I learned to make good use of every opportunity to explore new options and understand more about myself. Active participation in professional events, gaining the courage to connect and interact with people in the field, along with perseverance in pursuing your dream, all help open the door to a successful and satisfying career.

You can find current student chapter members like Kathy at MCAA2020. Don’t miss the Networking & Recruiting 360 event Wednesday, March 18, 9:00 am – 11:00 am. To preview students’ resumes, visit mcaagreatfutures.org.

Please contact Harlee Mooney if you have any questions about any of our student activities or internship grants.

MCAA Student Chapter Competition Has Record 33 Bids Submitted

The MCAA Student Chapter Competition received 33 submissions from chapters, including three from first-time participants Alfred State College, California State University, East Bay and Indiana State University.

Thank you to all the other MCAA student chapter that have submitted bids:

This year’s project details were generously provided by Fresh Meadow Mechanical Corporation of Fresh Meadows, New York.

The students have been tasked with developing a proposal to be the prime contractor on a chiller and cooling tower replacement project in the Penn South building in New York City.

The project includes the completion of all plumbing, piping and HVAC, electrical, controls and any other work required to complete the project as described in the bid documents. The student chapters are tasked with purchasing all equipment and materials and providing all necessary labor to compete the entire project scope.

The successful bidder will be required to coordinate the installation of their work with all other trades. This will include full BIM coordination with all other trades to locate and correct any clashes before fabrication or installation of any piping or ductwork. The contractor will be responsible for all costs related to any modification required for rerouting or relocation of any pipe or duct due to their lack of participation in the model clash detection exercise.

The teams will be notified if they made the Final Four by Friday, January 17. The Final Four teams will compete at MCAA2020 on Monday, March 16 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The top competition prize is $10,000. The second-place team receives $5,000 and the other two finalists will each receive $2,500. The other six teams in the top ten will receive Certificates of Merit and a check for $1,000.

Members of the MCAA Career Development Committee will review and judge the bid submissions.

Please contact Harlee Mooney with any questions about the competition or student chapter activities.

MCAA Student Competition Challenges Chapters with NYC Chiller and Cooling Tower Replacement Project

This year’s MCAA Student Chapter Competition project has been released to all participating student chapters. MCAA student chapter members have been tasked with developing a proposal to be the prime contractor on a chiller and cooling tower replacement project in the Penn South building in New York City.

This year’s project details were generously provided by Fresh Meadow Mechanical Corporation of Fresh Meadows, New York.

Scope of the Project

The project includes the completion of all plumbing, piping and HVAC, electrical, controls and any other work required to complete the project as described in the bid documents. The student chapters are tasked with purchasing all equipment and materials, and providing all necessary labor to compete the entire project scope as detailed in the cap documents.

The successful bidder will be required to coordinate the installation of their work with all other trades. This will include full BIM coordination with all other crafts to locate and correct any clashes before fabrication or installation of any piping or ductwork. The contractor will be responsible for all costs related to any modification required for rerouting or relocation of any pipe or duct due to their lack of participation in the model clash detection exercise.

Final Four at MCAA2020 Convention

Members of MCAA’s Career Development Committee will evaluate and score the first round proposals. The teams earning the top four scores will present their proposals during the Student Chapter Competition at the MCAA2020 in Maui, Hawaii on Monday, March 16.

The stakes are high–the first place team wins $10,000, second place wins $5,000 and the finalists each receive $2,500.

GreatFutures Forum Presentation

MCAA Board of Directors members Scott Hinton of Harrell-Fish and Michael Russo of Fresh Meadow Mechanical discussed the project’s request for proposal (RFP) in detail at the MCAA GreatFutures Forum. Watch the video below to learn more about the first-round proposal requirements and the project’s overall scope.

Want to get involved?

Reach out to your local MCAA Student Chapter to offer guidance to the students as they navigate the competition RFP. For more information, please contact Harlee Mooney.

MCAA’s GreatFutures Forum Has Monumental Success!

MCAA student chapter members and member companies met in the nation’s capital September 19-21, 2019 for the MCAA GreatFutures Forum.

Molly Sizemore of the Penn State University Student Chapter said, “as a first-year attendee, I was blown away by the opportunities and resources provided to me as a student set to enter the industry.” And Molly wasn’t alone.

The forum kicked-off Thursday night with a welcome from MCAA President Brian Helm who shared the benefits of joining the mechanical industry, including the personal side — how “students will build connections and develop life-long relationships.” He touched on how fast technology is evolving in our industry and the immense opportunities for students to be part of these exciting changes.

Then speaker and illusionist Vinh Giang spoke about how creating and cultivating the right influences in your lives can make the difference for tremendous success. Next MCAA Career Development Chair and MILWAUKEE TOOL Vice President of Training Jon Finch presented on the DiSC® behavior style assessment. Attendees identified their own personality traits and learned how to engage in more impactful ways with different behavior styles.

Friday started with the 3rd annual MCAA GreatFutures Job Fair. The fair connected 35 participating MCAA member companies, both contractors and manufacturer suppliers, and 150 students looking for internship, co-op and full-time job opportunities.

After lunch attendees were given the opportunity to tour the mechanical systems of the new Museum of the Bible. The tour was facilitated by Southland Industries and Mike Miller of Kirlin Group. Students had a firsthand look at the cooling towers and generators on the building’s green roof, along with the state-of-the-art equipment in the mechanical rooms and fire pump rooms.

The day concluded with dinner at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, where attendees had time to explore the exhibits, watch an IMAX movie and enjoy riding the simulators.

Saturday began with a session on this year’s MCAA Student Chapter Competition project. The scope and proposal criteria were revealed by Scott Hinton of Harrell-Fish and Michael Russo of Fresh Meadow Mechanical Corporation, both members of the MCAA Board of Directors and Career Development Committee. The project was contributed by Fresh Meadow Mechanical Corporation and will involve a chiller and cooling tower replacement project, including the completion of all plumbing, piping and HVAC.

The keynote speaker was Colonel Nicole Malachowski, the first female pilot selected to fly as part of the USAF Thunderbirds, closed the forum with a motivating message on leadership and overcoming adversity. Nicole detailed her career and life challenges and inspired everyone with her courage and success when faced with the headwinds of her life.

MCAA thanks this year’s generous host and sponsors, the MCA of Metropolitan Washington, for their support in bringing the forum to Washington, DC. MCAA and the student chapter members are already looking forward to next year’s GreatFutures Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 1-3, 2020. Mark your calendars!

MCAA Members Find Success Hiring at GreatFutures Job Fair

Attend this year’s GreatFutures Forum Job Fair to find the best talent. Registration for MCAA members is complimentary! The Job Fair gives member companies the opportunity to interact with a diverse talent pool from our 60 MCAA Student Chapters.  The Job Fair is scheduled Friday, September 20 at 8:30 am – 11:00 am in Washington, DC. Take it from these MCAA members.

Desiree Hack, Recruiting Manager at U.S. Engineering Company, has taken full advantage of the GreatFutures Forum Job Fair. At last year’s Job Fair, she hired mechanical engineering students Ahmad Attallah and Thomas Walsh, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Hack said, “We would have never met them if it wasn’t for the GreatFutures Forum!”

Both students are enjoying their internship experience. Thomas Walsh said, “[M]y interaction with a project manager of a mechanical contractor at the job fair helped me decide my current path of employment.”

Kristin Junia, Program Manager at SIEMENS, has also found success. Last year she hired Kylie Nadelka, a mechanical engineering student from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Kylie interns in the Seattle Branch on the company’s Operations and Engineering team.

Kristin shares, “[T]he GreatFutures Job Fair gives me the advantage of meeting a different caliber of students from across the country. I cannot wait to attend again this year!”

Be the next success story. Register today for the GreatFutures Job Fair and find your next hire!