HGC Hosts First Mayor’s Youth Employment Program Intern

In an effort to become even more connected to our community and help reach the next generation of construction professionals, HGC, along with 80 other organizations, proudly partnered with the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program (MYEP) this summer. MYEP was created in the mid-1980’s to provide Charlotte youth with opportunities to develop career skills, gain experience and become young leaders.

After an application and interview process this spring, we were matched with 16-year-old Jakari McIver who is a student at Charlotte Engineering Early College High School (CEEC).

Q: What led you to get involved with MYEP?

A: My career coordinator at school mentioned this opportunity to me and it sounded like a fun way to continue preparing for my future while I wasn’t in school. Through CEEC I am getting the education I need to set myself up for success in the future, but having work experience is also important to figure out what career paths I’m most interested in.

Q: How was your internship formatted?

A: My internship was a 6-week, fully immersive experience with the company. I reported to the Team Development Group and worked with Suzanna Bailey each day to follow a rotation schedule that gave me an opportunity to get hands-on with different teams within HGC. I shadowed the Project Admins, sat through leadership meetings, rode along with the field trainers & so much more. It was a really great way to spend my summer!

Q: Which part of your internship did you enjoy the most?

A: I enjoyed all the groups I spent time with and appreciated everyone helping me get familiar with the organization. I had the most fun when I went into the field with Tyler Clowes and Nason Gonzalez from the survey team. We went to a project that hasn’t started moving dirt yet, and they showed me how to stake and flag the ground and even let me help fly a drone!

Q: How has your perception of the construction industry changed?

A: Before my internship, I always thought construction was a dangerous, high-risk industry. The more time I spent around this team and in the field, I realized this was far from true! Safety is weaved into everything here and the amount of technology in the machines was surprising.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is considering an internship or career in this industry?

A: Be open-minded to different opportunities because you never know where they will take you. You may start in a position in the field but realize your skills and interests are better suited for another team. Be an asset, be willing to help and make connections wherever you go!

Q: How did it feel being a female intern in a predominately male-dominated industry?

A: Overall, it was a great experience! Nobody treated me any differently because I was a woman or because I was an intern. We all worked together, and I could tell the team truly wanted to help me learn and grow throughout my time here. Being a woman in construction is important to prove to everyone that we can do it too. Having a diverse team can be extremely valuable in this industry!