Knowledge is power in all industries, but it has turned out to be especially true for the construction industry. When I came into this industry as a student I was extremely overwhelmed when trying to understand everything a building does and how to successfully build one. A construction manager needs to understand everything from excavating a foundation through building systems and finishes, along with all the installation procedures and logistics related to weather conditions or environmental impact; not to mention the cost estimating, scheduling, cost tracking, and all the software programs that are used. In order to learn as much as possible, I turned to the CM Club to supplement my in-class learning. The club has offered me so much valuable experience in the form of site-visits, networking, conferences, guest lectures, and just making friends with other CM students.
One of my favorite benefits of being an active CM Club member is being able to travel and attend conferences at a low price. So far, I have traveled to Las Vegas and Washington D.C. with the CM Club. My favorite event was CONEXPO in Las Vegas where there was over 4 million square feet filled with all the industry’s top companies in equipment, building materials, and new technology. The experience has been so valuable for my career and the connections made have expanded my network across the country. Some of the topics in discussion are so ahead of the industry and difficult to learn in the classroom and most people do not even know about them – there is so much to learn just from talking with leading professionals in the industry. These events will put you in the right place at the right time and will have you rubbing elbows with these people.
Another cool benefit is site visits. By being able to walk through some of Boston’s largest projects I have learned many new concepts, and challenges that professionals face every day. There is always something to learn from every person you meet, and every project visited.
The club also offers opportunities to work with your hands with volunteer build days. For example, we have started building a cabin for the YMCA in Canton at Camp Ponkapoag (construction will continue this fall, get involved). It has been a lot of fun so far to help out and get some more hands-on experience.
At the beginning of my Junior year, I was lucky enough to be selected as Treasurer of the CM Club. I was happy to accept the role, and my experience with the club has become even better. As an e-board member, I have developed better relationships with professors, students, and professionals. Active membership is a great thing to put on a resume and being a board member is even better. I feel that the position makes me more competitive for any job I apply for. The position shows that I have experience in a leadership position, which is a trait that many companies desire. It is also very rewarding work to help other students gain experience and learn new things.
The past few years have been transformative in my career thanks in large part to my involvement in the CM Club. I have grown my network, built up my resume, become knowledgeable in the newest technology and biggest problems, and have had a lot of fun in the process by meeting so many great people.
Written By Michael Iascone (CM Club Treasurer)