Construction management major offered unique internship experience with Connico

This summer, senior construction management major Elie Germain was offered an internship with Connico, a consulting service to owners, engineers, architects and planners, in Mt. Juliet in Tennessee. As he prepares for the future, Germain shares an inside look into his journey to Lamar University and his experience at the company.

Q: Can you tell me about your background?
A: I was raised in Houston and was born in Orlando, Florida. I come from a decent Haitian family.

Q: What attracted you to LU?
A: I was drawn to Lamar based on its affordability; it was well within the budget that I planned on paying for college. In addition, it is just an hour and a half drive from Houston, so I can go home on the weekends to my leisure.

Elie GermainQ: What interested you in construction management?
A: Since I was younger, I've always been hands-on. Besides the job stability, what I love about the construction industry is being able to solve problems and seeing the projects you work on becoming a reality. Every day there is an opportunity to learn something new. It's also so rewarding seeing your creations on paper taking shape in real life.

Q: How did you hear about this internship opportunity?
A: An email was sent out from Lamar University’s (Center for Career and Professional Development) for the Houston-area virtual job fair. I attended initially to practice for the construction management career fair the next day.

Q: What attracted you to the position?
A: The opportunities I would have to travel, the option to work some days at home during the week and the chance to have hands-on experience in the field and the office.

Q: What are some of your responsibilities?
A: I assist in assembling and analyzing cost estimates, market surveys or schedules and accompanying reports; collaborate extensively with other employees to learn and develop professionally; help research, manipulate and maintain cost data; participate with other Connico employees in client meetings to understand client relationships; assist in performing local onsite construction observation or make local construction site visits, to name a few.

Q: What do you hope to gain from this experience?
A: I hope to gain more field experience in the construction industry. Connico is my first internship and I am nearing graduation. Although I've grasped the concept in the classroom now, I think it is time to see what I've learned put to work in the field. I believe in-field experience is where you learn the most.

Q: How do you feel LU has prepared you for this opportunity? For your future success?
A: Outside of my learning, LU has helped me prepare for this opportunity in numerous ways, such as getting me a headshot, setting up my LinkedIn and helping with mock interviews before actual interviews. In addition, whenever I needed assistance, I would go to the career center and speak with Ms. Nicole (Kyles-Burton) and she would give me advice or knowledge on my questions.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: I plan to become a project manager and lead a project, travel the nation to places I haven't been and become indispensable at whatever company I decide to work for in the future.