In this month’s Beyond the Classroom, meet MCAA’s Director, Career Development Harlee Mooney who highlights the unique features and benefits of the MCAA GreatFutures program for both students and MCAA members.
Upcoming Beyond the Classroom videos will showcase how MCAA student chapter members and MCAA members alike are benefiting from the program. They will also share the opportunities available to students who choose careers in the mechanical industry.
Molly Sizemore has accepted her second summer internship at Southland Industries, a member of the MCA of Metropolitan Washington.
She will be interning in the company’s engineering department, where she will work on mechanical and plumbing systems projects in Navisworks and Revit. Last summer, she saw the project management side of the industry as an intern on a data center project in Ashburn, Virginia.
Molly said, “working on a data center opened my eyes to understand different heating and cooling systems since they’re so MEP-heavy and mission critical. Southland has opened many doors of opportunity in the past year – one of them being MCAA.”
Molly learned about the opportunity to be part of a MCAA Student Chapter during her internship last summer. There, she met Lauren Boyle, a Southland Industries design engineer and a past member of the MCAA Student Chapter at the Pennsylvania State University, also known as Penn State. Lauren told Molly about MCAA and the resources that would be available to her.
Molly worked with her faculty advisor and her local association, the MCA of Central Pennsylvania, to help the Penn State University chapter gain momentum and even participate in this year’s MCAA Student Chapter Competition. She said, “Participating in the competition has been a really unique experience in my college career.”
Molly also attended the 2019 GreatFutures Forum in Washington, D.C., where she was, “…blown away by the friendly faces of both students and professionals along with the engaging and fulfilling content of the conference.”
Molly is looking forward to attending MCAA2020 in Maui and expanding her network before heading to Washington, D.C. for her internship.
“MCAA has definitely created a springboard for me into the mechanical contracting industry, and I’m very excited to continue this journey and get others involved,” she said.
You can meet student chapter members like Molly 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.
Thanks to Fresh Meadow Mechanical Corporation of Fresh Meadows, New York for providing this year’s project details.
The project tasked students 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.
You can see the final four teams compete at MCAA2020 on Monday, March 16 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from these students’ insightful approaches to a real-world contracting bid!
The winners will be announced at the Awards of Excellence Breakfast featuring Joe Montana on Wednesday, March 18 at 6:30 a.m. The top competition prize is $10,000. The second-place team will receive $5,000 and the other two finalists will each receive $2,500.
Each of the other six teams in the top ten will receive a Certificate of Merit and a check for $1,000. Congratulations to those recipients:
Andrew Nguyen has accepted a summer internship with MCA of Metropolitan Washington (MCAMW) member The Bowers Group, also known as W.E. Bowers. Andrew is a junior at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, studying Building Construction.
He shared that, “…attending The 2019 Great Futures Forum was my first experience with MCAA and my golden ticket into the mechanical contracting industry.”
Andrew first met members of the W.E. Bowers team at The Great Futures Forum Job Fair. “We had a great conversation where I told them about my interest to pursue a path revolving around technology within the industry,” he says. “One of the W.E. Bowers representatives mentioned that she could see if there could be an opportunity for me there with their BIM Coordinator. After the job fair, she notified me that there was an opportunity for me to interview for an internship at the Sterling, Virginia, office.”
During the interview, Andrew learned that he will be assisting with implementing new 3D modeling, fabrication, and product tracking software to help the company increase efficiency and organization. He also toured the company’s Beltsville, Maryland, fabrication shop.
Reflecting on his student chapter experience and his interactions with MCAA and the MCAMW, Andrew said, “My experiences with the MCAA are all filled with grateful memories of meeting people who generously continue to open doors for me full of opportunity and improvement. Everyone I meet is obviously passionate, not just about their profession, but also about introducing new generations into the field. It’s both relieving and exciting to feel welcome in a field where I am new and unfamiliar, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
He adds, “Working with my student chapter was an experience of personal and team development as well. The students within the chapter push and support each other as we all build our experiences and knowledge of the industry. In addition, the MCAMW have been our backbone as the team and I advance into the field by connecting us to the community and building up the resources we have available.”
You can meet student chapter members like Andrew 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.
MCAA congratulates Paige Theby, a member of the MCAA Student Chapter at the University of Missouri-Columbia, for graduating with a B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. She is excited to start her career as an Engineer with the Murphy Company.
Through her MCAA experiences, Paige says, “I have met so many professionals in different sides of the industry that I feel comfortable enough asking them questions and have them involved in our student chapter meetings.”
She was a Building Engineering Sales Engineer Intern for Johnson Controls in the St. Louis office, where she assisted the sales team with estimates, walk-throughs, and field surveys. The internship experience led Paige to know mechanical contracting was for her.
Paige reflects on the benefits of being a part of a student chapter and having the MCA of Eastern Missouri’s support in steering her in the direction of mechanical contracting.
“It has definitely taught me to get out of my comfort zone and get out of the traditional mechanical engineering job the university steers you towards, which is design, and not everybody wants to do design.
I think it’s really neat that they [MCA] are focusing on and teaching the younger generation about the mechanical contracting industry.”
At Murphy Company, Paige will be the first Engineer to go through their Inaugural Integration Rotational Program. She says, “I will spend a couple months in estimating, engineering, operations and BIM and at the conclusion of the program we will identify the best fit for me as a full-time position.”
You can meet student chapter members like Paige 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.
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.”
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.
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 congratulates Madelyn Conway, a senior at Purdue University, for accepting a full-time position with BMWC Constructors, Inc. She will be working as a project engineer in their Indianapolis office following graduation in the spring. Madelyn said, “because of MCAA, MCA of Indiana, and the Purdue MCA Student Chapter, I have found my career!”
Madelyn interned two consecutive summers at BMWC. She interned at the Indianapolis office in 2018 and this past summer in their Portland, Oregon location. BMWC used an MCAA Internship Grant, underwritten by MCERF, for Madelyn’s 2019 internship.
You can find student chapter members like Madelyn 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.
Located in Bowling Green, Ohio, the BGSU chapter is sponsored by the MCA of Northwest Ohio. This is the association’s first MCAA Student Chapter.
Robert B. Austin, Assistant Professor of Construction Management serves as the chapter’s faculty advisor. Robert worked with Anne Saloff, Executive Vice President of the MCA of Northwest Ohio, to get the chapter established and students invested.
BGSU’s Construction Management program is tailored to produce industry ready construction professionals with a sufficient background in Mechanical and Plumbing.
Congratulations BGSU and welcome to the MCAA family!