Vice-President, Clark Construction Group
Cara Lanigan oversees a large construction project at Ft. Bliss and frequently hires students from UTEP's construction management program. Clark Construction has worked with UTEP's College of Engineering for nearly five years and Ms. Lanigan came to know of the construction managemnent program because of this long-standing relationship. Here, she gives UTEP students two thumbs-up.
On how many UTEP students she typically hires in a given year:
Internships are a phenomenal way for students to develop an understanding of our industry and gain experience that will be instrumental in their career success. As an employer, we are able to mentor, coach and train students that may have the opportunity to join our team as full time employees in the future. UTEP has consistently produced strong internship candidates, resulting in our company maintaining about five (5) UTEP interns year-round. Many of our interns have gone on to become full-time employees with our firm hiring anywhere from 2-4 students per year.
What students work on and how they perform:
Students assume many engineering tasks including RFI development, submittal review, document control, field inspections, and special projects. Special projects that involve documentation research, field verification, and analysis are offered to students to provide diverse exposure to a variety of items, and challenge their ability to plan and process a problem and synthesize the results.
On the strengths UTEP students bring to the table:
The construction management program at UTEP provides a learning environment and curriculum that allows students to understand the processes, concepts, and issues that are current challenges in the construction industry. As a differentiator, UTEP students consistently demonstrate a strong work ethic, enthusiastic desire to learn, and an eagerness to “do what it takes” to get the job done.
On whether she would recommend UTEP construction management students to other employers:
Students who complete the construction management program at UTEP understand the unique challenges and opportunities in our industry. The academic environment coupled with the internship experience produce graduates that are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the opportunities in our industry.
One piece of advice she would offer students:
Construction is a relationship-based business which requires knowledge, trust, and understanding among all parties. Treat your classmates, professors, colleagues and others as clients – be professional and honest, and strive to be a problem-solver. Operate with this high level of integrity and you will always be a desired team member from colleagues and clients alike.