Construction management teams tackle the competition

construction management:Sacramento States commercial team took first place in the Associated Schools of Construction Region 7 competition.:Courtesy Photo

construction management:Sacramento State’s commercial team took first place in the Associated Schools of Construction Region 7 competition.:Courtesy Photo

Lauren Greenwood

The Sacramento State Construction Management teams triumphed against the competition in the annual 2010 Associated Schools of Construction Region 7 and Open Problems National competition.

In the Region 7 competitions, the commercial team won first place. The teams took first place in the regional commercial competition and the national electrical and mechanical competitions. The teams also took second place in the multi-family and design competitions.

“The competition is a great way for students to test themselves in a real world application and environment,” said Ryan Henry, senior construction management major and president of the Construction Management Student Association.

Students compete for two days straight and maintain their high energy for the whole weekend, Henry said.

“It’s a very intense weekend for students, but they enjoy themselves and enjoy the competition,” said Mike Anderson, director of the construction management program and faculty coach of the Heavy Civil team.

Even though the first two days of the competition were grueling, the third day of the competition was a networking opportunity for students to meet their potential employers.

“Many of the competitions are essentially a job interview and the teams that do well often have recruiters meeting them in the hallway right after a presentation,” said Justin Reginato, faculty coach for the pre-construction team.

Due to the economic recession, Anderson said construction is one of the first industries to decline, and less companies can afford to hire on the spot at the competition.

This past competition, Anderson and Reginato noticed there were fewer companies and on-the-spot hiring and interviewing wasn’t as prevalent as years past.

“In this economy, (competing in the competition) is the best route to get a job,” Reginato said.

Knowing that there is so much at stake during the competition puts a lot of pressure on the students. Reginato said that it can be “incredibly nerve-wracking” and some students become visibly sick after a presentation

Henry said that the students felt accomplished knowing they achieved such great success with one of the smaller construction management programs.

“Sac State is a recognized program in the western region,” Henry said. “We’ve been able to make a good name for ourselves these past few years and prove our name against the big powerhouses like UC Berkeley.”

Students and faculty believe a large component of success has been the industry involvement. Anderson said industry advisers come from all over the region and most of them are Sac State alumni.

“They fully dedicate themselves and we are so appreciative of their knowledge and expertise. It’s a collaborative effort to put together a strong team,” Anderson said.

Students particularly enjoy working with the industry advisers such as Henry Meir, the senior project manager for Kaiser’s South Sacramento Hospital expansion. Industry advisers aid all of the teams.

“By working with the professionals, it solidified what field of construction I really want to get into. On top of that, it’s just a fun way to compete, network and build relationships,” Henry said.

The industry advisers provided expertise, support and, historically, the industry board of supervisors for the construction management teams has funded the competition costs. This year the teams raised the money, more than $35,000 themselves, to compete and will continue to self-fund the event.

Lauren Greenwood can be reached at [email protected].