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Summer Internships: Julia Tisdale

Ferris State University students gain valuable work experience through internships. Internships also can confirm or redirect career decision-making, provide marketability, develop people skills and enhance classroom learning. Many academic programs require one, but the experience is encouraged regardless to provide students with a better understanding of what will be expected of them in the workplace.

Many students are participating in myriad internships this summer. Meet:

Ferris State UniversityJulia Tisdale

She is: entering her final year in Ferris’ Construction Management program, having transferred to the university from Delta College. Julia is from Midland. “I am hoping to complete my Associate of Applied Sciences in Business Administration I began at Delta, when I have completed my studies at Ferris.”

Her Internship: is with Pepper Construction, where Julia is working at the Chicago headquarters, though the company also has operations in Indiana and Ohio. “I’ve been learning the office end of things in the industry this summer. I help with takeoffs, logistic plan designs, scheduling, and just organizing information when needed. A lot of it has been observing the problems that occur, even before a project breaks ground, which involves learning how to troubleshoot, problem solve, and handle issues as they arise. I have also seen how meetings are conducted, the steps to be taken in bidding a job and the process of hiring sub-contractors. These are all valuable things related to the industry.”

Ferris’ assistance in finding her internship: “Ferris had everything to do with the fact that I got an internship. If not for the career fair, the classes that helped me to develop my resume, and all of the networking opportunities Ferris, and especially my program had to offer, I wouldn’t have been able to snag such a top notch internship.” Julia also had a 2016 internship, with Lakewood Construction, in Grand Rapids. “I can honestly say that had I not done that internship and started somewhere with a company and got a little experience under my belt, I don’t think I would have obtained the internship that I have in Chicago with Pepper this summer.”

Future Plans: I feel like I will be in a good position after I graduate based on the experiences and opportunities I have been able to experience at Ferris. I’ll be able to be able to have options on where I want to work, which is great! It’s important to me to find and work for a construction firm that has the same goals and aspirations and is willing to help me continue to grow in this career. Where and what company that will be with has yet to be decided, but I am excited and looking forward to what may develop in the next year.”

Julia’s Other Activities: “I am currently president of the Women In Technology registered student organization. I also try to get involved in volunteering with Leigha Compson and the College of Engineering Technology events offered on campus as much as possible. She does Technology Education Aptitude or TEA events with middle school students, so I speak on the panels for those as much as I can and lend my voice and experiences to any other panels or events, when it is possible. I was also on the Design-Build ASC competition team with five other classmates, who competed down in Chicago in the Fall of 2016 and ended up in third place. It was a very intense but great learning experience.”

Julia was nominated by faculty at Ferris, and then selected for Michigan’s Breaking Traditions Merit Award. This honors students in the state of Michigan, who are not traditionally involved in their particular field. “This past year I also received the National AGC, or Associated General Contractors scholarship, the Retail Contractors of America scholarship, and the NAWIC, or National Association of Women in Construction scholarship. They have very much helped in the pursuit of my education, and I am very honored and thankful for them.”


PHOTO CAPTION: Julia Tisdale, of Midland, is on an internship during Summer semester with Pepper Construction, at their Chicago, Illinois headquarters. She is pictured here as a Construction Management student, on Ferris' North Hall construction site.