Report For a 9-week Internship undertaken at Turner Construction
1.0 Introduction to the organization.
Turner Construction is a New York based construction company with 22 branches all over the United States. William Turner started the company in 1992 as a small-scale contractor specializing in high-end home renovations. From these humble beginnings, Mr. Turner oversaw the growth of the company from small projects to huge multi-billion state projects.
Turner construction was built on the principles of hard work, quality service, professionalism, and adaptability. The company has succeeded in the competitive construction business because it has consistently developed state of the art projects with the utmost quality, professionalism and value to clients (Coffey, 2010).
The Turner Construction has been at the forefront of developing and acquiring the latest technology in construction. The Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology ensures that every project is completed twice (Coffey, 2010). First as a three-dimensional model and secondly on the actual ground. This technology ensures that contractors are able to identify and correct possible implementation problems before they occur.
The company continues to grow twenty-one years after it began. Turner is slowly expanding into other continents. There are ongoing projects in Africa and Asia apart from possible prospects in the United Arab Emirates. The wheels of success are definitely turning in favor of Turner Construction.
1.2 Organizational Structure
At the top of the organizational chart is the president who oversees all operational activities and ensures that the company is making good returns an all investments. The president, Eng. William Turner Junior answers to Mr. Turner senior who despite retirement still keeps a close eye on company operations. Mr. Turner is the chairperson of a six-member board of directors, which is composed of the highest shareholders in the company.
Vice presidents who head the development, engineering, construction, operations, and sales departments lead the next level in the organizational structure. The operations department envelopes administrative functions including human resources, accounting and front office operations (Dimitrios, 2011).
The third level in the organization is led by managers who are in charge of specific highly skilled responsibilities within the company. These are the environmental managers, safety managers, chief architect, surveyor, and project managers (Dimitrios, 2011).
The last level in the organizational structure is the first line employees who actually execute the projects. These are bricklayers, plumbers, heavy machine operators, painters, interior designers, drivers, marketers, sales, and security officers (Dimitrios, 2011).
- Internship Plan
My internship began on 1 April 2013 and ended on 31 May 2013 at Turner Headquarters in New York. For the nine weeks that I was interned at Turner construction, I worked as a secretary in the operations department. My duties required me to liaise with other departments such as the human resource department, offices of the company president and vice president and the organizations records department.
- Training Program
I was given an extensive tour of the company’s premises. I visited all major departments and offices within the organization. I was also taken to the security office and the cafeteria where all employees took their meals. After the tour, I was shown my desk, computer after which I was assigned with an email in the company’s intranet site. I was also given a list of the internal extension numbers and other contacts that I would require in the course of my duties. By the end of the week, I was performing simple filling tasks and answering unimportant internal inquiries on the phone.
In the second week, I had mastered the internal corporate communication system and the electronic archiving system. My supervisor allowed by to perform most of the electronic archiving. I was also allowed to receive all incoming calls before forwarding them to my supervisor for further inquiries.
I continued to gain more experience in electronic archiving but with minimal supervision. I was taught how to conduct an inspection of previous records and correct any errors that may have been performed during data entry. I also learnt how to update past records and include new information with tampering with the filing system.
2.2.4 Week Four
This was during the end of the month and personnel files were being prepared for payment. In addition to my archiving and communication duties, I was taught how to review the entire personnel registry and update, archive or correct the personal files.
2.2.5 Week Five
The human resource department requested for a list of all employees who filled up their vacation request forms. I prepared the list in order of application with the earliest applicants first. I also updated the vacation book with the names of all the applicants before submitting the list to human resources.
2.2.6 Week Six
I was required to arrange for travel and accommodation for the corporate board of directors who were travelling to Dubai for a three-day business meeting. I made all these plans together with airport logistics, meals and after business leisure plans.
2.2.7 Week Seven
All departmental managers were scheduled to make scheduled to attend a week long annual international contractors conference and exhibition in China. I made all the primary reservations for transportation and accommodation with the help of my supervisor. I also booked meeting with strategic partners and prepared an itinerary for the manager’s travel while in China.
2.2.8 Week Eight
I received and archived minutes and reports from the board of director’s visit and those from the conferences attended by departmental managers.
2.2.9 Week Nine
In my last week, I performed my communication and archiving duties. I also prepared my report and had it signed by my supervisor. On the last day, I handed over all company materials and equipment that were given to me on the first day. My intranet account was closed and I was given an exit interview by the human resource department. Finally, I was handed a recommendation letter signed by my supervisor and the human resource manager.
- Challenges Faced
During the first three weeks, I was given very little work. Most of what I was assigned as duties was limited and repetitive. Little or no work is a common problem for many interns during the early days of their internship (Sweitzer & King, 2009) Initially, I was afraid to ask for more responsibilities but when my supervisor realized that I was eager to learn, he taught me how to perform an archives audit and gave tasks that are more challenging in the subsequent weeks.
The second challenge was that my supervisor assigned highly sensitive tasks to me despite the fact that I was new in the profession. The responsibility to make travel arrangements for the board of directors was new and exciting to me. I was afraid that my lack of experience would result in shoddy work but I managed to make excellent travel plans ad impress my supervisor. Sweitzer and King (2009) advise that when given a new and challenging task, it is important to ask questions and do your best.
- Skills Learnt
Secondly, I leant how to make executive travel arrangements and ensure that company heads had a comfortable and productive trip that matched their expectations and goals. Lastly, I learn how to audit a filing system and correct any errors that may have been made in the archiving system.
The nine-week internship at Turner Corporation was educative, interesting, and professionally challenging. I was able to learn and perform my duties as a secretary in the organization’s operation department with minimal challenges. I acquired practical skills in communication, electronic archiving, and executive travel arrangements. I also learnt how to work efficiently under a supervisor and earn his commendation for efficiency and willingness to learn.
Coffey, V. (2010). Understanding organisational culture in the construction industry. London: Spon.
Dimitrios, K. (2011). The human resource factor in the construction industry.Noderstedt: Grin Verlag
Sweitzer, H. F., & King, M. A. (2009). The successful internship: Personal, professional, and civic development. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.