Thirty regional and national concrete and construction companies were invited. Dozens of MTSU concrete and construction management students, seeking summer internships or full-time jobs after graduation, registered to attend.
Their common goal? Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 27, for a “Speed Interview Day” arranged by the School of Concrete and Construction Management in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building.
The School of Concrete and Construction Management conducts Speed Interviewing Days so students can meet with potential employers, sharing their resumes — and, in some cases, their hobbies and off-campus interests — with companies. In the speed interviews, a bell rings, the student meets with the company representative(s) for six minutes, the bell rings again and the student moves to a different company’s table for a new interview process.
This spring’s session included Florida-based Premier Stoneworks, Nashville’s IMI – Irving Materials Inc. and nationally recognized Messer Construction and Whiting-Turner, among others.
MTSU junior Tate Edmondson, 20, of Ashland City, Tennessee, comes from a construction management background. His father, Tyler Edmondson, owns a company that does commercial work out of Nashville.
Tate Edmondson said two or three companies are interested in him for a summer internship.
“It definitely works,” Edmondson said of the speed interview process. “It went faster than I thought it would. I got what I needed from them. I hope they got what they needed from me.”
Junior Caroline Blackstone, 20, of Atlanta, Georgia, a contracting/ product sales major seeking both summer and potential future employment, said it’s a matter of “giving the company your resume and business card, talking to them and see what they have in the future.”
Blackstone said at least eight companies wanted to follow up with her next week; they plan to reconnect March 5.
“I really liked talking to these companies,” added Clarksville native Jevon Williams, 19, a sophomore Concrete Industry Management major who now lives in Murfreesboro. “It’s a great opportunity to meet the companies. If you have trouble talking to them, they guide you through it. It’s a nice atmosphere, nothing too stressful.”
Williams said most of the companies have been offering multiple internships. He added that the businesses often send long-term experienced managers for the speed interviews so they can answer students’ questions with accuracy.
“A lot of these companies put money back in our program to help us,” he said.
Williams and Blackstone both praised Dr. Heather Brown, director of the School of Concrete and Construction Management, and staff members Sally Victory, Nicole Green and Brittany Shelton for their work in arranging for the speed interviews, networking and social events held for students and the companies.
The School of Concrete and Construction Management is one of 11 College of Basic and Applied Sciences departments.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)