“The Construction Institute (CI) Student Days was a phenomenal experience and was a highlight of my entire college career,” said Elliot Idio. “It really tested what I knew of construction and how I can improve.”
CE Student Days is a program by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) that brings top engineering students from across the country together with potential employers. The program includes “real-world engineering” sessions, resume critiques, an equipment rodeo, and a networking dinner. The goal of the event is to demonstrate all of the options available to engineers interested in construction-related careers.
Idio was chosen as one of 36 students to attend the five-day event in Arlington, Virginia. As part of the experience, he was put on a team tasked with creating an estimate and proposal for a project. However, new addendums were given every minute so the team had to work together to rewrite the proposal and add estimates. They even had to run to make copies at a print shop that was several minutes away. “During this, I kept thinking to myself ‘I can’t believe this is happening right now,’ while trying to scramble to get everything in,” Idio said.
He noted that skills he gained during the event were time management and communication, but also technical construction skills. “Juggling many items on my to-do list and also assisting others really tests your time management skills,” he said. “You have to learn to prioritize in the construction industry where everything often happens at once.”
Idio knows what it takes to manage his time as a college student. Outside of the classroom, he is actively involved in the Virginia Tech chapter of ASCE as treasurer. He is also a member of the Concrete Canoe Club and the Filipino American Student Association (FASA).
Idio plans to graduate in May 2020. He is currently doing a co-op and will return to campus in the spring semester. Following graduation, he hopes to be project manager. Specifically, his dream job would be to be a project manager or imaginer for Disney World to design new resorts, roller coasters and other theme park assets. The first step towards his professional career was attending the CI Student Days event. “As an aspiring construction professional, I know that I still have a long way to go to become proficient in technical construction skills and personal skills that will help me in my career,” he said. “I know there is so much I have to learn and I’m ready to take it on.”
For more information about the event and how to apply, go to https://www.ascestudentdays.org/.