Stephanie Crawford, Garrett, Ind.
Major: Building Construction Management (BCM), minor in organizational leadership and supervision
- Women in Construction Management, vice president
- BCMentors, recruitment coordinator
- Zeta Tau Alpha fraternity
- Habitat for Humanity spring break trip
- Intramural sports
It is learning the ability to be a professional in the construction industry through book work and hands-on experience. You gain not only an education but also a learning experience, an edge. Managers oversee the projects as far as budget, schedule, materials and more.
In BCM, we are required to have 800 internship hours to graduate. Some people think that’s a lot, but I think it’s awesome. One summer I worked as an inspection intern for American Structurepoint. It wasn’t a job, and it wasn’t work. I was there putting my time toward something I was passionate about, learning and just gaining that experience. I saw it as an opportunity, not a work requirement. I enjoyed every minute of it. That’s when I knew I must be in the right place.
Making a difference
The construction industry is shifting. We have new technologies, building green, lean construction. These changes call for new types of professionals. Women have often been excluded, and that’s where I want to make a difference. There’s an opportunity for women to excel in the construction industry, more so now than ever. You have to be mentally strong and believe in what you can do, do it right and to the best of your ability. That fact isn’t determined by gender.
In BCM 21600 (Electrical Construction) we were assigned to groups. We had to write a proposal to a company. We presented the layout of the room, showed how everything was going to be wired, where the switches were going to be and what materials we were going to use. Each week in lab, we used an application to make sure we were on schedule and on budget. It was a lot of fun, and it allowed us to learn and retain the knowledge. That’s my favorite thing about any class really, using computer programs to help out.
BCM students all have working relationships with each other, so it’s nice to have that experience as well. When you get into the industry, the relationships and networking are huge. Construction is a people industry. At Purdue, I’ve had the opportunity to meet new and different people. We have lots of diversity and international students as well as people with different personalities and backgrounds. That will be extremely beneficial when I’m in the workforce. There are so many opportunities here. There’s internships, co-ops, student organizations, specializations. You can partner with professional organizations. You aren’t limited to just one job. When you graduate you have the ability to take your career the direction you see as the most fitting and most desirable. Purdue opens a lot of doors.