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Venture General Contracting

Employee Spotlight - Intern 2020

Posted by Venture General Contracting on Aug 06


This week we chatted with Neilson Reyes, a second year Project Engineer Intern at Venture. We are proud to have interns as part of the Venture team and we love the enthusiasm that they bring to our projects! Learn more about what it's like to be an intern at Venture, and the young talent at our company by reading Neilson's experience below.

What type of internship are you working on at Venture?

Second year Project Engineer Intern at U Place Apartments, a mixed-use development in the U-District of Seattle.

Where did you go to school, and what’s your degree?

Washington State University (Go Cougs!) and a focus on Civil Engineering/Structural Engineering and Water Resources Engineering.

How has the internship prepared you for your professional career?

I’ve found that no classroom experience can fully prepare a person for the workplace. This internship has helped me sharpen my skills as a project engineer but has also taught me valuable lessons about working on a team. This internship has been particularly special because I have also been given numerous opportunities to learn brand new skills and grow by being included on projects that other workplaces may not have given me access to.

What is your favorite thing about being a Venture intern?

At Venture, we’re given the room to grow as people and expand our skillsets here. For example, I was given the opportunity to learn to drive a forklift purely because I expressed interest. There are no limits to learning at VGC and it is apparent that they want their employees to excel in their own career and personal goals. I also appreciate the healthy work/life balance that is promoted as part of our company culture.

What piece of advice do you have for future interns at Venture?

Take advantage of whatever opportunities may be presented to you during your internship. Yes, there will be days that are less glamorous than others, however you have great co-workers- get to know them and pick their brains, ask questions, learn as much as you can. Your ideas are valued here and during your internship would be the perfect time to get used to pitching them if you haven’t already.

How did you go about getting your internship?

It was at a career fair where I gave my resume to a current VGC employee. Even though they were not currently looking for Civil Engineers at the time, my resume was passed on to HR and I was given the opportunity to interview. The interview process at VGC was like no other – it was a very relaxed and fun conversation.

Who are some of the mentors who have inspired you?

My jobsite mentors are Kate Key (Asst. Project Manager), Tom Lucas (Project Superintendent), John Hutchinson (Asst. Superintendent), Ron Steele (Carpenter Foreman), and Jesse Briones (Project Engineer).

They are always willing to answer any questions I may have whether big or small – “No question is a stupid question”. My 1st day on the jobsite the U Place team made it so comfortable and welcoming.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Never stop adding to your toolbox! People in your field know a lot more than you do and have real-life experience. We come from college with limited experience, skills, and knowledge, so make a point to be open-minded and listen.

What is an app you couldn’t live without?

Like most college students, Snapchat & TikTok. Although I do spend a lot of time on my Procore app as well!

How has Covid-19 affected you as a student/intern?

As a student, its been difficult being removed from your friends and the on-campus experiences, and to think about the economy and job market you’ll find yourself in after graduation, however, professors have been giving us enough work to learn on our own which I have really enjoyed.

As an intern, it has posed some unique challenges and experiences, like sitting at our Covid – 19 check in/protocol desk as well as less people working on the jobsite. Overall, it’s been a great learning experience to watch the team respond to a difficult situation like this and still remain efficient and positive.