Construction club builds connections, preps students for real-world careers

Construction club

Molly Heideman

Kent State’s Construction Management Student Organization is proud of the strides it has made in helping its members gain hands-on experience to prepare for the field.

Zoë Robertson, the president-elect of the Construction Management Student Organization, wants students to have as many opportunities as possible.

“We do a lot of job site tours, we bring people in from the industry to talk to our students and kind of give them more real-world experience that you don’t necessarily get inside the classroom,” Robertson said.

Members of the organization can participate in competitions that involve planning a project proposal, as well as creating estimates, a schedule and safety quality plans.

The projects that they receive at competitions are based on projects that have already been built or are currently in production.

At competitions, the organization has been successful in placing in the top 10.

Recently, the group placed third in the Associated Schools of Construction regional competition.

Freshman students in the organization have the opportunity to participate in the University of Cincinnati New Builders Competition, where newer students are able to compete on a smaller scale to prepare for future competitions.

The group has come in first place the last two years.

The organization encourages students to network with potential employers and holds a job fair every semester for students to attend.

“For the students that are actively involved, our network already is so large,” said Lizz Hathaway, a junior construction management major.

Volunteering is an important facet of the group’s activities. Robertson said because many construction companies are heavily involved in the communities they’re building in, it’s important for students to have as many service opportunities as possible.

“One of the things that (companies) look for when you go into a job is do you have volunteer experience, do you already have that commitment to serve your community and can, therefore, benefit us by already having that drive?” Robertson said. “I think just cultivating that culture of giving back to your community early makes our students better in the long run.”

Many of the volunteers work students do is hands-on and supplemental to their studies, like volunteering for Habitat for Humanity or other building projects.

Members of the organization are grateful for the opportunities they’ve been able to have. Christine Bucey, a freshman construction management major, believes the organization has enhanced her college experience.

“Without joining the organization, (you’re) definitely not going to have the same college experience as (members) have,” Bucey said.

“You’re not going to have the friendships, the connections with the people in the industry.

“I think without it, you’re basically just in it for the education and nothing else. It really supplements learning in the classroom and helps you be more prepared when you graduate.”

Molly Heideman is a general assignment reporter. Contact her at [email protected]