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The Influence of Internship Participation on Construction Industry Hiring Professionals When Selecting New Hires and Determining Starting Salaries for Construction Engineering Graduates

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Cooperative & Experiential Education Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1225.1 - 24.1225.11



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Paper Authors


Kathleen M. Short University of the District of Columbia- CC, Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning

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Kathleen Short earned a PhD in Environmental Design and Planning and a Master of Science in Building/Construction Science and Management from Virginia Tech. She also earned a Bachelor of Social Work from Concord University. She is currently the Project Director for the Construction Academy and the Hospitality Academy in the Workforce Development and Life Long Learning division of the University of the District of Columbia, Community College.

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Annie R. Pearce Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16

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Christine Marie Fiori P.E. Virginia Tech


Tanyel Bulbul Virginia Tech

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Dr. Bulbul is an Assistant Professor of Building Construction and Adjunct Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Virginia Tech. She has expertise in investigating information and communication technologies together with the development of formalized, model-based analysis approaches to deal with the complexities of the built environment. Her research areas include Building Information Modeling (BIM); product and process modeling in AEC/FM; ontology based approaches for design, construction and and maintenance of critical importance buildings; intelligent maintenance systems linking the building information to its content; and tracking building data for well-informed end-of-lifecycle decisions and embodied energy vs. operational energy comparisons. Dr Bulbul is currently teaching BIM and IT in design and construction topics in the Department of Building Construction curriculum. She has received her PhD on Computational Design from Carnegie Mellon University and worked at the Istanbul Technical University and the Pennsylvania State University before coming to the Virginia Tech.

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Andrew McCoy Virginia Tech

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The Influence of Internship Participation on Construction Industry Hiring Professionals When Selecting New Hires and Determining Starting Salaries for Construction Engineering GraduatesThe construction industry has experienced great change over the past twenty years due toeconomic conditions, the incorporation of innovative project delivery methods and an increaseduse of technology throughout the development of projects. In response to these changes,employers are beginning to place more emphasis on what recent graduates have to offer theircompanies including hands on experience within the construction industry.Construction engineering education curriculums are designed to help students become ready tofill open positions in the industry. Many of these curriculums have little flexibility for coursesthat extend beyond the existing paradigm of the traditional classroom. Students need to have anopportunity to apply classroom content in real world settings. Internship participation offersstudents an alternative way to learn as they construct their own knowledge by applyingclassroom content in real world applications. Some construction engineering academic programsrequire participation in an internship for program completion. Other construction engineeringacademic programs do not make participation in an internship mandatory and instead offer it asan optional part of the student experience.This paper discusses findings from data collected in a survey administered to constructionindustry hiring professionals, including human resource personnel, company executives, projectmanagers who field resumes at job fairs, and superintendents involved in the recruitment of newhires. This survey was created to provide a clear understanding of how internship participation isperceived within the industry, and how industry characterizes the factors that lead to a student’ssuccess. The survey collected both qualitative and quantitative data allowing participants toprovide open responses as well as selection from multiple choice listings. The responsesprovided on this survey assisted with understanding the value industry places on the studentinternship experience as well as to determine the level of participation they desire within thatrelationship.

Short, K. M., & Pearce, A. R., & Fiori, C. M., & Bulbul, T., & McCoy, A. (2014, June), The Influence of Internship Participation on Construction Industry Hiring Professionals When Selecting New Hires and Determining Starting Salaries for Construction Engineering Graduates Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23158

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