Speed interviews help MTSU concrete, construction students find jobs, internships with companies

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MTSU junior Vanessa Van Cleve, left, responds with background information and academic and work history as she talks to Aluma Systems' Frank Gonzalez Feb. 27. The exchange occurred during the MTSU School of Concrete and Construction Management's speed interview day for summer internships and full-time jobs with about 30 companies in the James Union Building's Tennessee Room. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Thirty concrete and construction companies were invited. Dozens of MTSU concrete and construction management students seeking summer internships or full-time employment following graduation registered to attend.

The regional and national companies met with the MTSU School of Concrete and Construction Management students Wednesday (Feb. 27) in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building for a Speed Interview Day.

The School of Concrete and Construction Management conducts Speed Interview Day so students can meet face to face with potential employers, sharing their resumes -- and in some cases their hobbies and interests away from campus -- with companies including Florida-based Premier Stoneworks, IMI from Nashville, Tennessee, and nationally recognized Messer Construction and Whiting-Turner, among others.

MTSU junior Tate Edmondson, 20, of Ashland City, Tennessee, comes from a construction management background. His father, Tyler Edmondson, owns a company that does commercial work out of Nashville.

Tate Edmondson said two or three companies were interested in landing him for a summer internship.

"It definitely works," Edmondson said of the speed interview process, where a bell rings, the student meets with the company for six minutes, the bell rings again and the student moves to a different company to re-start the interview process. "I thought it went faster than I thought it would."

"I got what I needed from them. I hope they got what they needed from me," he added.

Junior Caroline Blackstone, 20, of Atlanta, Georgia, who is majoring in contracting/ product sales and seeking both summer and potentially future employment, said it's a matter of "giving the company your resume and business card, talking to them and see what they have in the future."

Blackstone said at least eight companies "want to follow up with me next week." They plan to reconnect Tuesday, March 5.

Clarksville, Tennessee, native and Murfreesboro resident Jevon Williams, 19, a sophomore Concrete Industry Management major, said he "really liked talking to these companies. It's a great opportunity to meet the companies. If you have trouble talking to them, they guide you through it. It's a nice atmosphere. Nothing too stressful."

Williams said most of the companies have multiple internships to offer. He added that companies often will send managers with 20-plus years of experience so they can answer our questions with accuracy.

"A lot of these companies put money back in our program to help us," he said.

Williams and Blackstone both praised program Director Heather Brown and staff members Sally Victory, Nicole Green and Brittany Shelton for the time they invest in arranging for the speed interviews, networking and social events held for students and the companies.

The School of Concrete and Construction Management is one of 11 College of Basic and Applied Sciences departments.

MTSU has more than 300 combined undergraduate and graduate programs.

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