by Sean Lamontagne
When I was a kid I was absolutely sure I’d be a professional baseball player. Not only that, I was positive I’d play my entire lengthy career with the Boston Red Sox. As I sit here now writing this, I realize how different my career has turned out compared to my original big league plans. Very rarely to we end up making a career out of what we dream as kids. Fortunately for our youth today, there are plenty of opportunities for them to dip their feet into various careers before settling on what’s right for them. These unique opportunities have been dubbed “externships.”
In the spirit of planting the seeds for the next generation of construction managers, Nadeau Corporation Construction Engineering & Development has teamed up with Roger Williams University and its Career Center to offer a student a “day in the life” with the company. The Winter Externship Program gave Ernie Nadeau, president of Nadeau Corporation and Roger Williams Alumnus, the opportunity to spend a day with Joe Batista. Joe is an up and coming construction management student at the university and got the opportunity to “shadow” Nadeau for a busy day in the field.
Batista wants to become a construction manager so we gave him the opportunity to take a peek inside of a working commercial construction firm so he could find out if that’s what he really wants to do for the next 30 to 40 years. He was able to follow the President and Senior Project Manager around to meetings with colleagues, clients, and subcontractors. Joe visited project sites ranging from downtown Boston Hotels, to a Framingham thrift store during his day on the road with the CEO.
Ernie Nadeau has become a strong advocate for unique opportunities like this. “Offering students a chance to get out of the classroom and into real life situations is essential,” states Nadeau. “The truth is, these kids are going to be building New England long after we’re done doing it, so it’s nice to give them a snapshot of what they can expect.”
The Director of the RWU Career Center Robbin Beauchamp said it best, “Even in these times of economic uncertainty, we must all be committed to educating the future employees of our industries.” And it’s true. Having the opportunity to participate in this provides students with an invaluable experience, and reinforces how the books translate into real-world experiences.
When asked about his time with Nadeau, Joe said “There were many aspects to the construction industry that I was not aware of before this experience. It has broadened my knowledge in the field.” Nadeau Corporation looks forward to participating with Roger Williams University in next year’s shadowing program and continuing our involvement with Rhode Island and Massachusetts future construction professionals.
Sean Lamontagne is director of business development for Nadeau Corporation.