Developing Bright Minds | PCL

Developing Bright Minds

For the seventh consecutive year, PCL has thrown down the gauntlet at the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Student Competition in Reno, Nevada. The Associated Schools of Construction focuses on developing and advancing construction education where the sharing of ideas and knowledge inspires, promotes, and guides excellence in the industry.

The students from California State University, Chico
who won 1st place in PCL’s Preconstruction
problem competition.

PCL judges of last year’s ASC competition.

Each year, a PCL district is selected to develop a preconstruction problem that challenges students and provides a hands-on learning experience. PCL offices in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Hawaii, Minneapolis, Water Infrastructure Group, Bakersfield, and Denver have all participated in the ASC Student Competition in recent years.  


The ASC three-day student competition brings together over 1,000 students from 40 construction management degree programs from universities across the US. The competition provides students the opportunity to present their construction knowledge and skills to industry leaders from top construction firms around the country. The competition is followed by a half-day career fair where students have a chance to network with industry leaders and benefit from their expertise.
Michelle Iskandar, a field engineer for PCL in Los Angeles, competed in the ASC Student competition as a college student and speaks enthusiastically about her experience. “Through ASC, my interview and presentation skills greatly improved and I am currently more aware when I give presentations in my career due to the practice and exposure I received at the ASC competition,” said Iskandar.  “It also provided clarity on what goes into a proposal for a client.”


Terry Brickman, PCL’s national director of Quality Management, organizes PCL’s involvement in the competition and career fair. “The passion and enthusiasm that the students have for the competition is inspiring for the industry they are about to enter into,” said Brickman. “Every year I look forward to seeing the students grow and mature in both their knowledge of the industry and their confidence in their own abilities.”
Months before the competition, student are practicing, planning, learning how to navigate various programs such as P6, BIM, AutoCAD, and Blue Beam, and most importantly learning to rely on team members to properly prepare for success when the competition officially begins.
“The months of preparation before the competition have helped further my career because I learned how to effectively work with a team,” said PCL Bakersfield field engineer and former ASC participant Rob Hermansen.  “It is important to learn from others and understand the construction process and what it takes for each company to bid a job, along with the initial proposal process.”
Hermansen says his best advice for future students competing in the ASC Competition is to take it seriously and be prepared to show companies what skills you have to offer them. “Being able to have a high-quality output in a fast-paced environment is crucial to success in the industry,” said Hermansen.

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