Q: What is your current position at Russco?
A: I’m currently an assistant project manager, but as an intern, I’m also filling in as needed in other roles.
Q: Where do you attend school?
A: I’m just about to enter my senior year at the University of Florida. Go Gators!
Q: Can you recall the exact moment you knew you wanted to work in the construction industry?
A: I loved Lego when I was growing up, and I don’t think I ever grew out of them. The only thing that changed is the scale of the projects; as I grew, so did the blocks I worked with. Even now that I’m working with full-scale buildings, I work for the same sense of pride in being able to stand back and think, “I built that,” that I had when I closed the instructions on a Lego set at age 5.
Q: Do you believe in Bigfoot?
A: I want to believe, but I’m just waiting on the hard evidence
Q: What's the one thing you've built that you've been proudest of?
A: It’s not so much a single project that I’ve been proud of as the evolution of all the projects I’ve been involved with. I started out with small, rudimentary woodworking projects before I was 10 and worked my way up to two full car restorations and multiple large-scale carpetry projects, each one more refined than the last. All in all, it’s the detail and scale of what I build that I’m proudest of, and that’s not a project I ever hope to stop working on.
Q: Was Russco your first intern experience? If "YES", how would you describe the experience? If "NO", how has Russco compared to your other internships?
A: I’ve had one previous internship in the construction industry; a summer I spent as a project engineer on a few additions to commercial buildings. During my time there, I took notice of all the things that could’ve been done better, especially as the construction industry as a whole is turning a technological corner. This time around, with Russco, I’m seeing a much more organized side of the same coin – more open to change, more dynamic. Aside from the differences between who I worked for, I’ve had the opportunity to experience multiple roles within the company from a hands-on perspective, even during the short amount of time I’ve been in Fall River, MA
Q: If you could sing one song on American Idol (when it still aired) what would it be?
A: If I had the vocal range to pull it off, I’d have to go with the Eagles’ “Take It to the Limit” – just an all-around fantastic song that has emotion behind it. If I’m being realistic with my singing skills, though, “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede is always a crowd-pleaser.
Q: Russco offers you a full-time position tomorrow, do you take it?
A: Barring the impending school year, I’d take the job in a heartbeat. I’ve had a great time getting to know everyone around the office and in the field. I know the construction industry relies heavily on building a rapport, so I’m sure the experience would only get better with more time.
Q: How many pizzas does the average college student consume?
A: I definitely can’t speak to the average, since I skew that number to the high side, but I’d say at least two per week. Anything shy of that just isn’t college.
Q: What major evolutions do you foresee for the construction industry?
A: Even with what little experience I have in the various construction management computer programs that are on the market, it’s easy to see that the industry will come to be dominated by such programs in the near future. Construction will always be a people industry, but the attention to detail and long-distance collaboration abilities that technology brings to the table can’t be ignored.
Q: Three things you can't live without - excluding people...
A: For one, I can’t imagine a world without music; hardly a minute goes by that I don’t have a soundtrack for. I believe there’s a time and place for every type of music, which is why my tastes have become so eclectic. Secondly, I couldn’t get by without my tools. Even though my collection is a hodgepodge of various tools and makeshift ones, that feeling I get from finishing a project – when I finally get to take a step back and appreciate something I’ve poured hours of time and effort into – is seriously addictive. In a broader sense, I couldn’t live without nature. I was brought up to appreciate the outdoors, and to me, there’s nothing more therapeutic than walking until cell phone reception fades out.
Q: Who at Russco has been the biggest influence on you?
A: I’d have to say I’ve learned the most from Phillip Simmonds-Short, Russco's Senior Director of Construction. Phil was the one who brought me on board initially, and throughout the internship process, I’ve gotten a lot of honest insights about how Russco (and the retail construction industry as a whole) works. Fred Rodriguez has also been a great liaison in helping me to get used to working and living this far from what I’ve known thus far.
Q: What is your favorite tool?
A: My favorite tool has to be a beat-up old chisel of mine. It’s nothing special to look at (I think I bought it at a garage sale for a dollar), but using it in a traditional gunsmith project I took on recently showed me that there’s a sacred relationship between hand and tool that you only learn when you leave power tools out of the equation. It’s the same type of intimacy with my craft that I try to carry over into my professional life.
Q: Biggest takeaway from your intern experience with Russco?
A: As my internship at Russco is coming to a close, the biggest takeaway for me is learning how to work on the fly. I had never lived outside Florida in my life, and uprooting at a week’s notice to live in Massachusetts – not to mention having my day-to-day plans change at a minute’s notice – has helped me learn to structure my work and personal life in an industry that doesn’t always come with structure.
Thank you for sharing your candid answers with us Bryan! We've learned a lot from you as well and wish you nothing but the very best of luck in any endeavor you pursue - Russco, Inc.