Posted on September 19, 2022
This summer Ainsworth-Benning Construction, a division of Journey Group, hosted their first-ever internship program.
“Ainsworth-Benning has wanted to do an internship program for a while. With our organization’s personal connection to Sophia and her family, we thought she was the perfect fit,” said Kevin Wagner, Business Development Manager.
Caldwell, who is also the great-grandchild of Lyle Ainsworth, an Ainsworth-Benning Founder, praises the internship experience for allowing her to see real-life concepts and gain a further understanding of the construction industry.
“This internship gave me the opportunity to interact with and learn from members throughout the company, from superintendents to project engineers,” Caldwell said.
“I learned more than just construction management knowledge, I was able to be a part of a welcoming and tight-knit community.”
That community showed Caldwell what it was like to work in both the field and the office, as it awarded her the ability to witness firsthand the progress on a variety of projects – including the Black Hills State University EY Berry Library, Pioneer Bank & Trust, and Security First Bank.
Wagner believes that Caldwell was an essential asset to Ainsworth-Benning over the summer as she was involved with every department, from Human Resources to Business Development.
“I attended pre-bid meetings, helped organize bid formatting, and estimated potential buildings,” she said.
One of those estimations included a $20M project estimate Ainsworth-Benning put together for a client. This estimate was presented to the client in the beginning of August and Caldwell was part of that presentation.
“Through it all the best piece of advice I received is to be direct and clear and all communications as it will create less issues and allow better relationships to be formed,” Caldwell stated.
Her favorite part?
Shadowing different project managers within the company which allowed her to gain a realistic sense of what project engineering is like the challenges of efficient scheduling, and how to effectively communicate and build relationships.
“All of these things enabled me to get a realistic sense of construction. Pursuing an engineering degree focuses greatly on theoretical practices. It’s often hard to transition these practices to physical construction, she said.”
Ainsworth-Benning allowed me to bridge the gap between theoretical to practical, which will equip me with skill sets that will set me apart in the industry, she added.
Those skill sets will soon be used as Caldwell prepares to graduate in the spring of 2023. After graduation, she hopes to move to a location like the Black Hills to work in city planning or engineering design.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity that Ainsworth-Benning gave me. I learned so much about my career path, made great professional connections, and experienced an environment where employees truly care for their work and clients.”