Several of our former construction engineering (ConE) and construction management interns have become full-time employees of Carl A. Nelson & Company. Among them are a current vice president and a project engineer. Their experiences as CANCO interns are highlighted here.
Jordan Hutcheson started his career at Carl A. Nelson & Company in 2015 as a field engineer, and today is a project engineer and employee-owner. Jordan interned with Carl A. Nelson & Company during the summer after his sophomore year at Iowa State University.
Jordan worked as a laborer on the Klein Center project for Great River Health System in West Burlington, Iowa. During his internship, Jordan was introduced to a variety of tasks such as steel framing, running a jack-hammer, and millwork.
“I really enjoyed this aspect because I wasn’t stuck on one discipline for the entire summer. This helped me to really get familiar with the flow of work on a construction jobsite, and learn how different trades depend and interact with each other,” Jordan said.
Carl A. Nelson & Company asked Jordan to return to work during the winter break of his junior year. As the Klein Center was nearing completion, he was asked to develop punch lists for the same project he had previously helped to build.
“It was neat to see how far the building I worked on had come in just the five months I was away," he said.
After graduation, Jordan accepted an offer of employment at Carl A. Nelson & Company. Even though Jordan had interned and interviewed with other construction firms, he selected Carl A. Nelson & Company.
"All in all, I feel very privileged to have had the internship I did with Carl A. Nelson & Company, and was honored to accept an offer for employment," he said. " I still refer to my experiences as an intern in the field to better communicate with those I work with and to effectively plan the steps that need to be taken to get the job done.”
In the spring of 2020, after several years as senior project manager, Jamie Stanley was promoted to Vice President of Operations in Carl A. Nelson & Company's Cedar Falls office, and a project executive with responsibility for industrial projects and oversight of our Nelson Plant Services division, which performs small-job construction and industrial maintenance in operating plants. He is an employee-owner of CANCO and is a member of the Board of Directors.
“At an early age, I wanted to be an engineer,” Jamie said.
He said he knew in high school that he liked the outdoors, working with people to solve problems, and to be challenged. So he decided construction was the perfect industry, and enrolled at Iowa State University in the Construction Engineering program.
“At one point during my sophomore year, I realized that based on my current GPA, I wasn’t going to be at the top of my class,” Jamie said.
He made the decision to take more of a hands-on approach and applied for an internship at Carl A. Nelson & Company. During his first of two CANCO internships, Jamie said, he learned how the company operates and trained on computer programs specific to the industry. Then he returned to school with real world experience that was applicable to the ConE core courses that ultimately strengthened his work in the classroom.
The next year, Jamie returned to Carl A. Nelson & Company and went to work estimating, and was fortunate to work on a project which he was involved with the year prior. Jamie said he was allowed to manage, with oversight, every aspect of the project from beginning to end, including preparing subcontracts & purchase orders, cost coding, shop drawing review, requests for information, change management, scheduling, cost tracking, daily problem solving and contract closeout.
“Everything that I learned was put to use in my senior design course,” he said.
Jamie believes that internship programs mutually benefit the intern and the company.
“They promote education, growth and a path to fast track the start of your career,” Jamie said.
The majority of our interns have been in the engineering and construction management fields of study. However, we do welcome students in other fields of study related to aspects of the construction industry for accounting internships and business internships. Below, one former accounting intern describes his experience at CANCO.
Kaleb Moser, accounting intern
“Carl A. Nelson & Company has given me everything I wanted in an internship – variety. They have allowed me to be involved in a little bit of everything which has helped me identify the type of accounting that I truly enjoy. The staff is great too! Everyone is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure I have an understanding of procedures and processes and they make me feel like I am part of the Carl A. Nelson & Company Family.”
Preparing for an internshipWhile we believe in the value of completing an internship, it is important for students to understand how they can benefit from on-the-job training while still engaged in school. To help with that understanding, we've assembled some resources from around the web:
Arrange your CANCO internshipTo inquire about internship opportunities at CANCO in your field of study, please contact Human Resources. You may email email@example.com or call (319) 754-8415.