Residential Construction with Jon

Uploaded by PennCollegeVideos on 12.05.2010

>> [Background music] I'm Jon McAvoy.
I'm 21 years old.
I go to Penn College of Technology
for residential construction management,
and this summer I had quite a different lab experience.
[ Music ]
>> I was in Afghanistan doing my Penn College internship.
It's quite a unique lab experience.
I was in Afghanistan for five and a half weeks,
mostly in the capital, which is Kabul.
We were down south in Kandahar for a few one-to-two day spans.
My internship this summer was through RM Asia,
their onsite construction division,
located in Kabul, Afghanistan.
RM Asia is a world-wide service provider of commercial vehicles,
power generators and construction services.
We constructed mostly steel-fabricated living
facilities, dining facilities, vehicle maintenance buildings,
armory storage buildings.
The company provided shipping containers that they converted
into the same living units, dining facilities,
armory storage, deVAC units.
That was for the Afghan government for their training
of police and military.
I was a safety officer on those jobs.
We had a briefing every morning about what we were looking
to accomplish that day, how we were going to go
about doing that, the safest and best practices.
I wanted to go to Afghanistan to open my eyes to the rest
of the world, get a little insight on how things are run
over there and experience different cultures.
To get to Afghanistan, I took a flight from JFK New York
to Dubai, which took about 14 hours,
and to get to Afghanistan, there's not a direct flight.
You have to fly in from Dubai,
which is an international airport there.
At first I felt pretty uncomfortable, you know,
pretty much more of a culture shock than anything.
You know, things are run differently.
They have a different lifestyle,
but on a day-to-day basis, I felt safe.
You do have a fear in the back of your mind.
At the same time, you just got to go along with life and try
to make Afghanistan a more livable, better place to be.
[ Music ]
Being able to do my internship overseas with a company
in a commercial hostile environment,
has greatly affected my whole Penn College experience.
The company was impressed with the unique, hands-on courses
that you're allowed to take here at Penn College,
and also the management aspect relating
to construction that's not offered at most colleges.
I relied on not only my construction background
but also my interpersonal background learned
in the classrooms here at Penn College.
Construction was to help me out drastically on estimating,
scheduling, submittals and all the onsite troubles I deal
with every day.
My interpersonal background,
through my communications classes here,
has helped me drastically, communicating with management,
locals, contractors, setting up jobs and just all
around communicating with people from around the world.
The biggest challenge I faced was being, getting adjusted
to a different culture and atmosphere that comes with being
on the other side of the world in a hostile environment.
They don't have everything at your hands
as you do here in America.
Just getting around, you know, everyday life is
so much more complicated over there.
Getting used to it took quite a little bit,
but eventually you settle in and start getting acquainted
with everyone around you.
The biggest lesson I learned is how a commercial business
is run.
I go here for residential management,
so I got to see the other side of the picture
in the commercial field.
Working on estimates and submittals
on a bigger scale has made me a more well-rounded person.
It's opened my eyes to the rest of the world.
It's opened the doors of commercial building and business
for me vastly, and also international building.
Being on the other side of the world,
being able to travel was a great experience and I feel I want
to do that more throughout my career.
I'm grateful that Penn College has helped make this possible
and opening my horizons where I can go with my career
and building on my experience that I had here
in the classrooms and in the labs.
And now that I've traveled the world,
I know that the possibilities are endless.