April 4, 2014

Construction management, civil engineering and industrial engineering students and alumni interviewed with regional industries in hopes of landing jobs and internships on March 21, 2014.

Students dressed in business attire patiently waited for their turn to speak with business representatives at Construction Interviewing Day. Dozens of tables lined the LSU Student Union Ballroom where multiple interviews took place at once.

“We’re always looking for candidates that fit well within our organization,” said Rhonda Badeaux of MAAP Construction, LLC. “What we’re looking for is passion – someone that verbally and nonverbally communicates to you that this is where they want to be.”

Students said the LSU College of Engineering and LSU Olinde Career Center prepared them for successful interviews.

“You need to be able to communicate,” said Alan Winstead, construction management senior. “They give you plenty of opportunities to practice.”

Badeaux said even students who don’t land jobs immediately at her company still might have opportunities in the future. For instance, she didn’t hire many graduates during the worst of the recent recession, but did create a database for future employment opportunities. Six months later when the economy swung up, she was able to hire a few LSU students she spoke to at events like Construction Interviewing Day.

“It’s always full of excitement anywhere you go, but for me at LSU, it’s a different collective mentality. It presents a different persona than what you find at other events,” Badeaux said. “There’s more spirit.”

Construction management senior Cory Manuel said LSU’s Construction Industry Advisory Council and LSU’s Construction Student Association have further prepared him for networking. Manuel said the organizations’ networking programs made him more relaxed in a formal interview setting.

“You get your face out there, your name out there,” said Manuel. “It’s like you already did an interview.”

Manuel went through a mock interview with the LSU Olinde Career Center and suggests that younger students network early to gain experience and build relationships.

“I’m telling younger students to get involved earlier,” he advised. “Obtain opportunities and take those as soon as possible.”

According to Bert S. Turner Department of Construction Management Chair Charles Berryman, the construction management field is booming for Louisiana.

“There is a tremendous growth in the construction of petroleum/chemical plants due to the gas-to-liquid technology and a large underground gas reserve along the Gulf Coast. As a result, the industrial, commercial, highway, and residential construction industry, as well as the oil and gas industry, are heavily recruiting our CM graduates, and will do so for a long, long time,” said Berryman. “This is a great time to be in our CM undergraduate, graduate or certificate program.”

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Article and photos by Danielle Kelley, LSU College of Engineering communications intern. For more information, contact Mimi LaValle, College of Engineering, mlavall@lsu.edu or (225) 578-5706.



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