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Two students from HELP (Homebuilding Education Leadership Program)-funded universities participated in an eight-week summer internship at NAHB in Washington, D.C., gaining real-world experience about the scope of residential construction during their internships that will help them as they advance their careers.
“This internship has taught me how critical business skills are to having a successful home building business,” said Ben Hendershot, a junior majoring in construction management at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan.
“I never realized how intertwined the financial and housing industries are, and how much needs to happen before you ever break ground,” he said
Hendershot, a former Marine and active member of his NAHB Student Chapter, said he hopes to one day become a custom builder and considered the NAHB internship an invaluable opportunity.
Brian Roling, a senior majoring in construction management at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, was also impressed with the internship.
“I’ve learned more here during my eight-week internship than I have in the past three years of school,” said Roling, who led his student chapter team to a sixth place finish in the Residential Construction Management Competition during the 2011 NAHB International Builders’ Show.
Both participated in the NAHB Residential Construction Leadership/Internship Program funded by the National Housing Endowment.
While interning for a week at the National Housing Center, the students learned about NAHB’s advocaty role in adressing the legal, legislative and regulatory issues affecting home building. They also learned about building products and best management practices during a week at the NAHB Research Center.
As part of their internships, Hendershot and Roling also spent six weeks working on job sites with Washington, D.C.-area builders, where they gained first-hand knowledge about stormwater management and OSHA safety standards.
Hendershot learned about zoning, legal and financing issues as well as new-home construction while working at Mitchell & Best, a mid-sized home builder headquartered in Rockville, Md.
During his six weeks working on a Pulte Homes multifamily community in Alexandria, Va., Roling learned how to work with inspectors and contractors and incresed his understanding of the intricacies of orchestrating the construction of a large housing development.
“When you look at these guys, you look at the future of housing,” said Bob Mitchell, president of Mitchell & Best, endowment chair and 2000 NAHB president. “Seeing students with so much enthusiasm and passion renews my hope in our industry, and I know the future is in good hands.”
Since returning to Pittsburg State, Hendershot has volunteered to work on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” to help rebuild homes destroyed by the tornado that struck Joplin, Mo.
Roling and Hendershot will report on their summer internship experiences to endowment trustees during the upcoming 2012 NAHB International Builders' Show in Orlando.