November 15, 2022

Meet Our JDL Excel Co-op, Cynthia Sullivan

November 15th, 2022

The objective of the JDL Excel Co-op Program is to introduce students to various roles within the organization. In this role, students gain knowledge of and assist in daily activities in the Project Management Department, Estimating Department & Field Operations. It is important to us that we create a welcoming environment for these students to grow their skillsets to take into their future career as well as their everyday life.

JDL partnered with Wentworth Institute of Technology to find our incredible student candidate, Cynthia. We sat down with her to discuss her experience over the past couple months and what it is like to work with our company.

Tell us a little about your background?

I am from Reading, MA. I go to school at Wentworth Institute of Technology, and I will be graduating in August 2023. I am majoring in Construction Management and have a minor in Business Management.  I grew up in contracting as my whole family owns a subcontracting business in Malden.  My college requires two Co-op opportunities for graduation, so this is my second industry Co-op I have completed.

How has your internship been with JDL? What skills have you gained?

Good! I truly learned a lot through listening. I mostly focused on architectural drawings in school, so I gained the ability to read more technical, mechanical, and fire protection plans. Something that was very interesting to me was a lot of the contracting dialogue and terms we learned in our textbooks didn’t translate with day-to-day on-site construction terms.

I also have learned a lot about office dynamics and how people interact with each other. I have learned lessons in persistence and constant communication due to the difficulty of the industries fast paced workload and availability. I have learned about the before, during and after course process of construction (which was one of my goals for the Co-op). I learned more about punch lists and the post construction process for Project Managers. Lastly, I learned a great deal about dogs! I never grew up around dogs, so it was awesome that they were always in the office with their owners.

I’m very happy that through this experience I have grown confidence in my communication skills and my ability to speak up and ask questions.  

What has your favorite project been so far? What’s the best part working for JDL?

I have enjoyed being able to work on several tasks during the week. I would go from Project Management, to Estimating, to Field Operations and was able to understand how they all work collectively. I think it has helped me figure out the construction processes and understand why certain aspects are in place or being executed.

I have had a unique opportunity to see the process of 75 State Street project. When I started in the beginning of September, the first thing I saw was the rough in of electricals and the end stages of the duct work. Throughout the project got to watch the installation of vents, dry wall, tapers, glazing wall, terrazzo flooring, and now we’re getting into light finishes, ceilings, and the steel pergola.  

How would you describe JDL, the culture and your overall experience?

There’s a unique closeness this company has between them. I’ve never worked in an office that wasn’t my families and I was surprised there was such a strong atmosphere and culture. My bosses seem to really enjoy each other’s presence and ideas. There is a lot of love and respect shared between the ranks and departments. I am enjoying being a part of an office with an entrepreneurial spirit at the forefront.

What are your goals for the future?

I am still trying to figure out exactly what path my career will take. However, I know I would like to stay in construction once I graduate in August of 2023. I have considered also going to business school, especially because construction is an economy-based business.

This internship has been an important part of learning what I potentially want to do in my career and what is important to me in the workplace.

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