Jokake Intern Jesse Zwick Talks About What He's Learned

During my two and a half years with Jokake (hired January of 2016), I have worked primarily under the oversight and guidance of two project managers: Gonzo Gonzalez and Nico Rochwalik.  It is almost exclusively on Gonzo’s and Nico’s projects that my work in construction has consisted of thus far.  They have generally tasked me with the responsibilities of a Project Engineer, but as my work capacity grew they would break the mold and assign me something closer to the Project Manager’s realm of work.  I have much appreciation for the lessons and construction exposure that I’ve received from these ‘mentors.’

This past year, I have had the opportunity to work on Destiny Springs Behavioral Health, Alaska USA Glendale Operations Center, and AZ Helping Hands. I also assisted on multiple bid efforts. Each gave me the opportunity to have increased accountability and responsibility, exposure to the field, and a leadership role as I participated in meetings and answered RFI’s and other clarifications.

Throughout my 2+ years at Jokake, though, I felt like a valued asset and a true part of the construction team for Destiny Springs Behavioral Health. Destiny was the first project I was listed as a dedicated Project Engineer under Gonzo Gonzalez’s leadership. From the early project development stages up through its current closeout, I’ve been involved.   I was involved with pre-construction efforts with soliciting quotes from subcontractors, and scrubbing the proposals to ensure proper coverage in our final bid number.

Though I love being on site and in the action with subcontractors and foremen, I believe I would work better as a project manager in my future career.  I like tackling the high-conceptual issues and think I would be good as a liaison to the client.  When reflecting on my work this summer, I believe my strengths are in my work-ethic, communication, and comprehension skills. Under Nico and Gonzo’s guidance, I am bettering my ability to visualize a system when described to me orally, but am glad to have their support when verifying details.

With only two semesters remaining for my bachelor’s degree, this internship has been a source of relief as it sheds light on the career-path ahead of me.  I have been exposed to the various responsibilities and expectations of a construction manager, both from the Superintendent’s and Project Manager’s points of view, and am excited for what the future holds.  I look forward to building relationships with clients, subcontractors, and fellow team members, when I get the opportunity to one day lead a project and help construct a building space with pride and quality.