Madelyn Zussman

Madelyn Zussman
Construction Management Technology (CM)

What made you decide to choose your specific major?

At first, I was thinking about studying something having to do with architecture. I realized that I would enjoy bringing someone’s dream to life rather than watching someone else bring my dream to life. Along with that, my dad is an architect and a quality director and he has been working in the construction industry for many years now. I really enjoy what he does with his position and I found out that studying construction management would take me on the path to becoming a quality director, like him.

What are a couple of your favorite things about your program of study?

I really like the hands-on work that we get to do, as well as being able to work with a group of people. It teaches us how to work together, so when we get on a job site in the future, we’ll know how to work well with others. I also really enjoy the group-teaching effort, especially in CM 150 (Construction Management Fundamentals).

What has been one of your favorite class projects?

One of my favorite class projects was our final project in CM 100 (Introduction to Construction Management). I was able to research the Empire State Building and, as someone who has never been to New York City, I knew nothing about it. It was so interesting to learn how and why the Empire State Building came to be.

What other activities are you involved in on campus?

I’m involved in Women in Technology and Women in Construction Management.

What was something unique about one of your summer internships?

Before coming to Purdue, during my junior year of high school, I did an internship with Pepper Construction. I went into that internship knowing almost nothing about the construction company other than what I had heard from my father, who works in the industry. It was really cool for me to be immersed in that environment because they taught me how to do important things like RFIs (Request for Information) and submittals. I was able to sit in on OAC (owner, architect and contractor) meetings and ask questions about the project they were working on and any other questions I had about the construction industry.

What do you know about your program of study now that you wish you had known when you were choosing a major?

I wish I had known how much we learn about our field of study within the first year. It’s amazing to me that, as a freshman in construction management, we already have a hands-on lab during our second semester.

What would be one piece of advice for prospective students or new Purdue students?

Make sure to be social. Construction management is a social major. We all have to work together, so the more connections you have, the better you will be in the future.

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