Clay Dillard '08
BL Harbert International
Architectural / Design Coordinator
"In addition to doing estimating work on US Embassy and Consulate design/build contracts, I will work with the architects on these projects to insure that the designs stay within the federal government guidelines. Eventually I will step into a project management role on site in international locations."
"I graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration in marketing from the University of Georgia in 2004. I worked in the banking industry for a while as a commercial loan officer, with clients in the residential and commercial construction industry, which is how I developed an interest in going back to school at Auburn for the Building Science graduate degree."
My feelings about the program:
"The graduate program at the McWhorter School of Building Science is far and away the most beneficial educational experience I have had. In addition to teaching the basics of construction, the program emphasizes presentation, financial, and negotiating skills in an effort to prepare graduate students for management roles. The faculty and staff genuinely care about students’ development, and the professors are willing to go out of their way to insure that you are prepared for a career in the construction industry. In my time at Auburn, I never felt uncomfortable approaching any professor or staff member at any time with any problem. They are by far the program’s greatest asset.
Classes are small, so as a student, you have no choice but to be involved and engaged at all times. The workload is rigorous and challenging, and ultimately gave me the confidence that I have the tools to succeed in a career in the construction field.
The placement program is fantastic. Over forty companies from all over the country interview on Auburn’s campus each semester for a field of around sixty graduates. Additionally, if you are interested in a company that does not interview on campus, Ms. Calloway in the placement office will assist you in pursuing an interview.
I am confident that my choice to return to school for the Building Science graduate degree was my best career move thus far. Thanks to the program I have found employment with a company that allows me to travel the world and continually develop myself as a leader in the construction field."
Clint Carroll '07
Brasfield & Gorrie
"My responsibilities include reviewing contract drawings, quantifying and pricing building components, project scheduling, comprising of project estimates, and owner presentations."
Feelings about the graduate program:
"The graduate program was a great learning experience and life experience. I entered the masters program after working in the construction field for a year with a small contractor. The program expanded my construction knowledge, exposed me to a variety of field construction applications, and increased my skills in construction information technology. My construction knowledge was expanded by the variety of skills covered in the course curriculum ranging from means and methods, structures, estimating, scheduling, construction finance and development, and information technology. I thought it was a great opportunity to get equipped with a complete set of construction skills in only a year-and- a-half time span.
I also enjoyed the opportunity of participating in the summer Study Abroad program. I got to see and experience other cultures and construction methods from other parts of the world that I would not have been able to experience if I had not been in the graduate program. Those experiences have truly changed my perspective on construction, and life in general.
I made some life-long friendships with classmates, as well as the faculty and staff, that have continued to benefit me long after my time in the graduate program. Overall, participating in the Building Construction graduate program has prepared me for my future and my career in the construction industry."
Rob Dean '07
DPR Construction, Inc.
"DPR Construction is a large General Contracting company that operates nationally. DPR specializes in high-tech construction projects (Advanced Technology, Biopharmaceutical, Healthcare, etc.) and has multiple offices throughout the United States. I joined the DPR team in August 2007. Since joining the company I have been given a wide range of responsibilities on multiple projects. I currently work on a Design-Build project for a large non-profit hospital in downtown Phoenix. My responsibilities include handling submittals, communicating with the Architect and Engineer, coordinating with subcontractors, tracking potential cost/schedule changes, monitoring safety in the field, etc."
Background prior to this program:
"In my previous life I worked primarily in the banking world. I received my undergraduate degree in Business from Auburn University in 2002. My interest in construction began towards the end of my college experience. After much research and many conversations with friends in the industry, I made the decision to pursue a career in Construction Management. That decision has proved to be one of the wisest so far in my adult life."
Rob's feelings about the program:
"My time in the Auburn MBC program has truly been an enjoyable and rewarding experience. The faculty treated my classmates and I like extended family, and I always felt like they truly wanted us to succeed. It was evident that the faculty put in a lot of time and effort into making the curriculum as relevant as possible, and our input was always welcomed.
Although the coursework we were given seemed overwhelming at times, I always felt a sense of accomplishment at the end of each semester. The dedication of the faculty and the participation of prominent industry professionals made me feel like I was getting the best information possible to prepare me for my new career."
Jeff T. Brewer '06
"Assist with all steps in the development and construction process as directed by the VP - Development and take primary responsibility for construction of assigned projects."
"I graduated from the University of Alabama with a B. S. degree in Environmental Science. My interest in construction/development inspired me to go to work for a residential developer in Birmingham, AL. I worked full-time as an estimator for Signature Homes in Birmingham before applying to this program. My work experience helped greatly in preparing for Auburn's MBC program."
Jeff's feelings about the program:
"The Auburn MBC program has been a very impressive experience. The faculty members here in the School of Building Science are the best I have seen. Completing this program has provided me with the knowledge and confidence to succeed in a very competitive industry."
Hal F. Gamble III (Travis) '06
Bailey Harris Construction Company
"I am one of two superintendents for our company on the construction of the Transportation Technology Center on Auburn's campus. The delivery method of the contract is a construction management agency. Our contract is just under half of the entire project amount of $60M. I am responsible for building layout, subcontractor coordination, and the running and managing of our own labor force. Project completion date is August 22, 2007."
"My undergraduate degree in Business was completed here at Auburn, with a concentration in Operations Management. My construction career began in Atlanta, working for Beers Construction during my summer and winter breaks while attending classes in Auburn. I started working for Bailey-Harris Construction in June of 2002, and have been employed part time until completing the Building Science Masters Program."
Hal's feelings about the program:
"The program offers teaching from valuable resources in the construction industry - not just from teachers but from the involvement of industry professionals. The knowledge that each professor has in their own area of construction makes for a solid foundation of the entire construction industry. Every professor is willing, at any time, to help any student with any problem he or she may have. The program was also very beneficial in that it can be completed in a year and a half."
Purva Gujar '06
Turner Construction Company
"Turner Construction Company is one of the largest general contractors with both domestic as well as international operations. I started working for Turner in January 2007 in their Atlanta Business Unit as an estimating engineer. My responsibilities include quantity takeoffs, conceptual estimating, selecting subcontractors, assisting in presentations to clients and business development. Turner has a rotation policy where they move everybody through various schools such as estimating, field, costing, project management, etc."
Background prior to this program:
"I graduated from the University of Pune (India) with a bachelor's degree in Architecture. During my architecture internships, I started visiting job sites and I was fascinated to see the transformation of a design from a piece of paper to an actual built environment. I started realizing constructability issues of the design. Thus, I decided to get a degree in construction in order to become a better Architect. Eventually, I want to start a design-build firm and utilize both my architecture and construction background. My background in architecture helped me not only in school, but during my internship by assisting me in resolving the design issues quickly with the architect on site."
Purva's feelings about the program:
"Auburn's MBC program has been a great experience in many ways. The faculty possesses wide experience in a variety of fields (such as construction IT, project management, safety, green building, to name a few). In addition, the involvement of industry professionals, access to modern technology and equipment, internship opportunities, and opportunities for study abroad helps prepare students to succeed in a highly competitive construction industry.
The school and professors encourage students to take classes in various other disciplines, such as civil engineering, geology, business, etc. This allows students to look at the same problem from altogether different views, and broadens perspective. The program was also very beneficial in that it can be completed in a year and a half.
The BSCI placement office is doing an awesome job. Plentiful job opportunities are available, as well as internships. Students may participate in career fairs, industry expos, and on-campus company presentations and interviews. Also, review of resumes and mock interviews help students prepare for interviews with company representatives.
Fellowships, awarded in conjunction with Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs), are a boon to GTAs. Tuition is university paid for up to 40 credit hours, along with a monthly stipend to help cover other expenses. Apart from the financial benefits, it is a great opportunity to interact with professors one on one, with undergraduate students (some of my very good friends are these students), and a great time management exercise.
A low student-professor ratio provides individual interaction outside of the class that fosters the family environment. The administrative staff is very prompt in addressing concerns, and was more than helpful, especially for me being an international student with no family or friends in the U.S.
As an international student, I am glad that I chose Auburn over other major universities. All other universities just mailed me an acceptance letter, but professors at Auburn called me, not only once, but several times...(it begins at Auburn!). What could be more beneficial than talking to a real person about thousands of doubts and insecurities of going to a totally foreign country knowing no one? Now, Auburn is my second home, and BSCI my family!"
Josh D. Nooney '06
Montgomery Martin Contractors
Rosemary Beach, Florida
Communication with architect and owner, writing and administering sub-contracts, generating change orders and submittals, coordination of relationship between sub-contractors and project, financial status reports, scheduling of activities, procurement of materials.
"I received my undergraduate degree from Auburn in Industrial Design. As an undergraduate, I had always worked in construction and enjoyed the industry. I worked as a Concrete Field Testing Technician at a local concrete plant before I entered the masters program. I was exposed to many large projects throughout Eastern Alabama and Western Georgia. As a testing technician I worked closely with project managers and superintendents and decided that I would like to pursue a career in managing construction projects. I had heard great things about the Master of Building Construction program, and, after talking with Steve Williams (Graduate Program Officer) I decided it would be an excellent move."
Josh's feelings about the program:
"The MBC program definitely lived up to its reputation. I had previously only worked on the labor side of construction and the program successfully prepared me for a career on the management side. The program focuses on communication and problem-solving, which are necessities for an effective project manager. Classes such as Executive Issues give students real world examples of managing a construction project. Not only did the program meet all my expectations but also helped me to find an internship and, later, a permanent position with Montgomery Martin Contractors in Rosemary Beach, Florida."
Thomas H. Perrine, J.D. '06
"As a construction manager within the Capstone development group, I am basically an owner's representative for Universities, overseeing the construction process for on-campus housing for students (dorms / apartments)."
"I am an attorney who worked in the Trusts and Estate Administration areas of law for the last eight years in Birmingham, AL. In this regard, I served as a facilitator among all parties involved. However, I needed to be involved with projects that produce a final completed tangible result. Therefore, I wanted to take my legal experience and apply it within the construction industry. Auburn's MBC Program increased my scholarly education of the industry. I am combining my legal training with the exceptional educational experience attained here, and pursuing a career in the construction industry in an area that is mutually beneficial to me and my profession."
Thomas's feelings about the program:
"The Auburn Graduate Program in Building Science allowed me to attain a Master's Degree on par with the best programs in the country while remaining in state and close to home. The administrative staff and faculty's dedication to the students is unmatched to any of my previous educational experiences. Additionally, the industry's involvement and their interaction provided a 'real world' experience for the students to benefit and learn from. The level of professionalism and the expectations of the faculty have provided me the best educational experience and have prepared me for a rewarding career."
Shaun Dickert '06
Hardaway Construction Corp
Assistant Project Manager
Shaun's feelings about the program:
"I entered the Master of Building Construction Program with a marketing degree from Western Kentucky University and a background in sports marketing. Prior to Auburn's program I had spent several years working as an account executive for the Tennessee Titans Radio Network. Working in marketing and sales requires you to deal with the intangible aspects of business on a daily basis. As I began thinking of a different career path, my interest in construction and the tangible nature of the building process played a major role in my decision to pursue a Masters Degree from Auburn's Building Science program. Looking back I could not be happier with my decision and feel very well prepared for the construction industry after receiving this degree.
During my time in the program, I was given numerous opportunities and offered valuable construction experiences. Through the program's strong industry contacts I was able to meet and interact with multiple construction executives. I was also given the opportunity to intern with The Haskell Company on a 700,000 ft. distribution center. This project was a great opportunity to see the construction process outside of the classroom and build upon previous experiences.
My classroom preparation, along with my hands on internship experience, and interaction with different construction executives, all enhanced my experience at Auburn. After completing the program, I feel very well prepared to enter the construction industry. I know that my decision to change careers and enter into construction was the best decision I could have made. I will now be starting my new role as an Assistant Project Manager with Hardaway Construction Corporation in Nashville, TN. I am confident that my experience at Auburn has prepared me well for my new responsibilities."
Emile Marchive, III '03
Instructor, Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Teaching undergraduate courses in the Construction Management School at LSU. Along with those responsibilities, works toward advancing himself and his field by conducting research in specialized areas related to construction.
Jeff's feelings about the program:
"My experiences at Auburn far exceeded my expectations upon entering the program. The master's program at AU helped me to become a better individual, both academically and personally. The faculty, staff, and students at Auburn go unmatched in character. Although the master's program is rigorous and intense, the benefit from the experience is more than rewarding. Not only do students have the pleasure of working with highly qualified faculty, they are given the opportunity to work closely with proven industry professionals. These professionals help students advance their understanding of theoretical aspects by applying them in "real life" scenarios created for students.
The program not only made me excel academically, it had a personal touch, as well. As students, we were required to devote much of our time to projects and research. Because of the time devoted, you develop many close relationships with the faculty, staff, and fellow graduate students that last far beyond your stay there. The atmosphere created by the Building Science Program helps provide students with the confidence, character, and attitude needed to succeed in meeting career objectives. WAR EAGLE!"
Trippe Gray '03
Doster Construction Company
Manage Subcontractor's contracts, scheduling daily activities, progress payments, change orders and punch lists. Estimating, buy out, cost codes, correspondence with the owner and architect.
"I received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from The Citadel in May 1995. After graduation I entered the Army as a Commissioned Officer. I enjoyed the leadership opportunities I was provided while serving as a platoon leader. The relationship between my platoon sergeant and I was very similar to that of a project manager and superintendent in a construction environment.
When considering career paths out of the Army, I chose to go into the financing side of real estate. During my second year as a lender, I began to develop an appreciation and an interest in the tangible quality of commercial real estate. I realized what I truly enjoyed about financing the construction process was the actual product that results. I knew then that I wanted my future to be focused more in construction of tangible property. That is when I decided to learn the technical skills required to manage the entire construction process. I thought obtaining a construction degree on a masters level from an accredited University like Auburn, would best prepare me to hit the ground running."
Trippe's feelings about the program:
"The Master's Program helped prepare me for all of my daily responsibilities in my current position. The BSCI Master's Program covered everything in class that I have been exposed to thus far in my career as a constructor. The Masters Program was very demanding and yet extremely rewarding. It provided me with the opportunity to learn from a pool of experienced faculty and staff as well as from industry professionals. Many of the assignments taught me valuable partnering skills through working side by side with peers in the program. All of the assignments were factual and relevant to the daily problems encountered on a job site."
Adam Ding '02
Spiegel Skillen & Associates
Kelowna, BC Canada
"After successfully estimating and managing various construction projects in a general contracting environment, now I have been playing a professional role of quantity surveying. My current duties mainly include two aspects: cost planning and project monitoring. By preparing a number of estimates corresponding to different stages of design (from schematic design to construction documents), I give cost advice to prospective owners, architects, engineers and public authorities, utilizing analysis tools including value engineering and life cycle costing. After a project is awarded, on behalf on the financer, I check the contractor's budget and review subsequent progress draw requests. Occasionally, I also prepare cost estimates and reports for mediation, arbitration or court hearings."
I possessed a business background and had some exposure to estimating prior to coming to Auburn. I was studying at the University of Nebraska when deciding to pursue a Master's degree in Building Construction. After looking through the website of ASC (Associated Schools of Construction), I found Auburn was one of the top schools offering a very good graduate program. Therefore, I came down that summer and felt that I made the right decision ever since.
Adam's feelings about the program:
As a former student and teaching assistant in the School of Building Science, I felt an excellent selling point for the program is that it equips students with sufficient training of information technology in addition to basic construction knowledge. All Auburn students are required to take estimating and project management courses with computer lab sessions. Taking estimating for example, I've used tools as simple as Excel spreadsheets, to advanced systems like Timberline, Winest (with digitizer) and On-screen takeoff, etc. Technology has changed the way we do business, and I witnessed that the students and faculty within Auburn's School of Building Science have been very active in that direction."