I worked as an intern with the CANA ReNew group for 16 months. ReNew is the special projects division of CANA so most of the projects have a quick turnaround time (two - six months). Each day really is completely different so I will highlight the main tasks I would take on throughout my internship.
The #1 thing that I have taken away from the construction industry is the importance of document control and tracking. On most projects, I would be in charge of sending and receiving different types of documents including shop drawings, RFIs, change orders, and many more. When it gets overwhelming the best way to stay on top of everything is to create a tracker where you can log every item.
Another one of my tasks was handling the procurement of certain scopes. I would have to constantly check up on the trades to make sure that manufacturing/ shipping of the material to site was in on time. This is extremely important especially on smaller jobs where the client needs the place turned around in only a few months. Having a tracker to log all items and their manufacturing/ delivery times helps a lot.
When the opportunity would present itself, I would be allowed to handle my own tenders for certain parts of a project. With that, I would receive and go through the drawings, then contact trades I believe are capable of doing that work. I would then receive their pricing, analyze the pricing, and submit my analysis to the CANA Construction Manager who then submits to the client. When the drawings are not good enough for proper pricing, I handled those tenders on a proposal basis. It was pretty cool to see all the effort trades would put into these proposals in hopes of getting the job.
There are tasks that I would have to do after a job is complete such as compiling Operations and Maintenance manuals. This is the “intern” task: it involves compiling all the warranties, maintenance/cleaning, and operating data from each trade into a binder that the client receives at the end of the project.
At the end of the job, I was also tasked with making sure that trades receive their final payment (known as holdback), all I would do mostly is compile the required paperwork to get the payments started. The last couple of tasks that appear at the end of a job are deficiency reports and occupancy walkthroughs. Deficiency reports are reports that summarize all the minor details that will need fixing (chipped paint, missing light fixtures, etc.) before the space can be turned over. Occupancy walkthroughs are when a City of Calgary inspector comes to have a “final inspection” of the space, they walk through to make sure that the place is actually safe and useable for the users of the space. I even had to walk through with a City inspector by myself, which was a very interesting experience!
CANA was a great company to have my internship with, especially being in ReNew I feel like I now have a good idea of most things that General Contractors experience on a construction project. My favorite part about my internship was definitely working with the trades, CM, and superintendent and trying to solve problems onsite. I have developed a lot as a person in my time here, and I am really excited for what the future has in store for me.