Influenced by architect Daniel Libeskind, Alex hopes not only to be able to design an ecological structure but also to create a place that makes people feel a different way. One place referenced, the Jewish Museum in Berlin, which was designed by Daniel Libeskind. Alex took psychology as his minor to help understand how people feel in different spaces.
"Psychology is something people don't focus on in architecture. People design to fit things into spaces as opposed to designing how people can feel in spaces. It ended up taking me an extra year to graduate to get my psychology minor, but it was worth it," commented Alex.
Although it took an extra year of school to complete his psychology minor, Alex is not done yet. This fall, Alex will be attending the University of Oregon to receive his master's in architecture.
"With architecture, you learn different design processes depending on where you are in the world. I honed down on the Midwest style architecture, which I like but I want to explore my other options," explained Alex.
Alex wants to be a licensed architect and be able to work in a firm when he is older. He applied to many different colleges between the east and west coasts to do so, but Oregon was his top choice. He worked hard to make his plans happen by having a complete portfolio along with a strong personal statement.
Within his personal statement, Alex explained his passions and his plan for psychology and ecological design. The University of Oregon has a strong ecological background so when Alex graduates, he will be a certified ecological designer, which was important to him.
After receiving his master’s in architecture from the University of Oregon, Alex hopes to be able to return to Omaha to design.
"I always kind of thought Omaha wasn't too much of a hot spot for architecture, but I'm beginning to realize it actually is and they have a lot of big companies here. I'd like to come back to Omaha and, if not, Kansas City, but I am also open to options, west coast, east coast, really anywhere," announced Alex.
Tristen believes virtual designing is important because it allows for issues to be addressed in advance. With programs like BIM 360 Glue, Tristen is able to combine the architectural, mechanical, and structural models of a project together to make sure everything is working properly.
As technology advances within the construction and architectural engineering fields, there will be fewer mistakes. It allows problems to be noticed and fixed before they happen in the field and the workers can be told how to build something to avoid conflicts or additional costs.
“I think it's the future of construction because, obviously, you can build an entire model of a building that you can walk through to see how it is going to look before it is built. It makes building it a lot easier and it streamlines the process,” concluded Tristen.
How many times have you driven past a construction site and thought nothing of it? There is so much more than what meets the eye in any business and, for the construction industry, this is no exception. Tanna White, MCL Construction’s Director of Training and Development, is one of the people behind the scenes in the industry and, while her job may be unknown to most, it is a significant one to create success in the workplace.
“Every organization, no matter the industry, should have some level of development for their employees. You will be so much more efficient, more productive, and more profitable if you have happy employees. Plus, if you have a higher level of employee engagement and morale is there, the rest will come quickly,” stated Tanna.
Tanna originally wanted to go back to school to get her Master’s in Communication Consulting for Businesses but, after receiving her graduate degree from Northern Iowa University, she went into teaching. Tanna was a victim of the recession back in 2009 and teaching was the only job she could find at the time. She taught for 10 years before finally getting a position that worked within a business.
“I always wanted to go the business route; my family has owned their own businesses, and my mind, I think, is more wired that way,” explained Tanna.
MCL brought Tanna on board in January of this year and the first thing she began doing was just getting to know the workers, learning the business, and hearing what people had to say. Tanna quickly learned about MCL’s training program, PILOT, and what employees thought about it.
“I got a lot of feedback around the fact that it was all very formalized and classroom training based. So, they would come in, sit down through a PowerPoint, meaning we are lecturing and talking at them. Then they were sent off and we were just checking the box,” Tanna revealed.
Since discovering how the training program was being run, Tanna started segmenting groups to create more relevant information for each level and formulated a way for workers to get more involved with training. Tanna didn’t want to get rid of the classroom training, she just wanted to structure it better to create a more defined approach.
“The endgame will be a blended learning approach where we are utilizing thoughtful classroom training, begin incorporating on-the-job training that is informal while also involving more certifications and eventually adding more online learning where it makes sense and creating more opportunities for people to learn and grow,” announced Tanna.
One of the main challenges Tanna is trying to overcome is the distance that has been formed between the employees and management. Tanna was drawn to MCL because of the culture and vision of where the company was heading, and she wanted to help drive MCL in the right direction.
“I wanted to help them feel that feeling again…that family feeling, that belonging and sense of community that we definitely used to have and I think we still have a little bit, but getting more back to that and build some comradery,” said Tanna.
As MCL continues to grow, Tanna wants to make sure she can maintain a strong relationship with the workers. Making sure that they are heard and their issues are being resolved, no matter what it entails.
Written By : Rachel Dempsey
“I am looking forward to finishing out my career at MCL with as much enthusiasm as I've had the last 25 years. It has been a blast and I want to make sure I go out with a blast as well,” revealed Paul Beller who just celebrated his 25th year at MCL Construction.
Paul is a Project Manager, a job he got the second time he applied with the company. Roughly a year earlier, Paul applied for the Project Manager spot and was passed up on the opportunity when he had missed the call asking him to join the team. He then began working for a roofing company.
“The roofing company worked quite a bit with MCL, so I was in the office a lot and 14 months later they asked if I was still interested because the first guy was moving on to start his own business. So, I really like to say that I've been here for 28 years,” explained Paul.
Paul originally graduated from Southeast Community College with a degree in Building Construction Technology. Five years later, he went back to school starting at UNO and later transferring to Peru State College. For Paul, it was really the next step in what he wanted to do.
“Just because I thought having a bachelor’s degree was important, then we were planning to have kids and I felt that it was important to provide a goal that I had achieved, and I wanted them to do the same thing,” admitted Paul.
Paul’s passion for construction started really early in his life, way before high school and college. It all began when his parents decided to build an addition to their house.
“I would come home when I was 10 or 11 and just watch and study all the progress that was made each day,” said Paul.
Back in the day, kids were exposed more to equipment at a very young age. Paul received full access to machinery such as table saws when he was only in seventh grade. Because of his exposure to construction early on in his life, Paul was able to truly find a love for the art in constructing and building structures.
To Paul, working for MCL Construction hasn’t just been a job, it has been an adventure with every day bringing something new to the table. He has seen MCL grow from only 35 workers to over 160; even the projects have doubled and tripled in size from when he first began.
“Every year it just gets bigger and better, and it has been different every day; honestly, never the same twice and the time flew by so fast. That’s probably my biggest disappointment,” informed Paul.
For Paul, passion is not just a Core Value here at MCL Construction, but also the MCL way.
“The MCL way is passion. We give it 150% every time we get a job and I think because of that, our quality is able to speak for itself. We all just try to maintain the quality on every project we do, and if we don’t have passion for what we do, we wouldn’t be successful.”
Looking back, some of Paul’s favorite projects have been the medical-related ones because they were able to help so many people. He really enjoys knowing that so many people have benefited from projects he has worked on.
With that being said, the past 25 years have been so memorable for Paul and he will continue to have a lot to look forward to in the future with his family, friends, and career. He is excited to see how MCL will grow more and more in the future and advises anyone looking to create a career out of construction to stay patient and be open to learning every day.
“One of the main challenges I face is the lack of respect I receive being a younger kid. But, to me, it doesn’t really matter what age you are or what profession you are in. I am here to get my job done and others are here to get theirs done too.” revealed Will.
Will understands that you must earn your stripes and respect is earned with performance. He appreciates all the responsibilities and accountability he’s been given in a short amount of time which demonstrates a level of trust.
“If you do your job the first time, think it through, and get it done, then you won't have to come back and redo it later down the line,” explained Will.
Having an internship so early in Will’s career has taught him so much that college hasn’t been able to teach him. Being able to work on projects and learn from experience is an important part of any job. With that being said, Will knows you can’t learn anything if you are not listening, so to always be alert is crucial to him.
“Keep your eyes and ears open all the time, people will try and teach you stuff, and you’ll miss it if you are not paying attention,” advised Will.
Will is going to be a junior this coming fall at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and is majoring in Construction Management. Right now, Will is focused on learning all he can about construction, so when the time comes, he’ll be able to take the next step in choosing which path is right for him.
“Wherever I go I’ll know what I am doing and hopefully I’ll enjoy it because it is the career I want to use for the rest of my life,” added Will.
The Creighton project continues to be Brayton’s favorite job he has worked on so far, but this is likely to change soon because he is now not just going to be a part of building MCL Construction’s new headquarters building, he is the Assistant Superintendent for the project.
“To be here right after school, running a job like this is a lot, it’s trial by fire. It takes me out of my comfort zone, but you can’t grow without discomfort,” reveals Brayton.
Brayton admits that because MCL gave him certain tasks that pushed and challenged him during his internship is why he enjoys the company so much. To him, nothing is rewarding without a little bit of a challenge.
“Since day one they gave me a lot of responsibilities and I really appreciated that,” told Brayton.
With the internship, Spencer is working with MCL’s Project Engineer, Sam Howe, putting together close-out documents which will later be given to clients when their project is finished. The documents will help explain how everything within the clients’ building works and who to contact if something ever breaks. When asked what he likes most about his internship, Spencer responded with no hesitation.
“It’s a lot of learning. A lot of stuff I haven’t learned yet in school and I like the feeling I am a step ahead of the other students at my school.”
Spencer wants to learn about every job and position at MCL but eventually hopes to become a superintendent here at MCL Construction.
“I’d rather be out in the field instead of sitting in an office for several reasons, but mainly because I get to physically see the buildings being built right in front of my eyes, allowing me to see a change,” exclaimed Spencer.
Spencer has really come to know and respect MCL’s Core Values: Passionate, Dedicated, and Thorough. He believes they are all important but, out of the three, he relates to being passionate the most by explaining, “When you truly love something, you are going to want to do a better job on the end product.”
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