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PNC graduate is building on his education

Nicholas Chase

Nicholas Chase

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Updated: May 13, 2013 6:12AM



When Nicholas Chase was a student at Purdue University North Central, he took an internship with Danny’s Construction Co.

After earning his degree in construction engineering and management technology in 2010, he was hired on as an assistant project manager. Since then, he’s worked on major construction jobs across the country.

While still a student, he was assigned to the construction of a 60-story high-rise at 300 North LaSalle St. in Chicago. In the second semester of his junior year, he had another tremendous opportunity when he began work on a 16-story addition to Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Shortly after his graduation, he was sent to Nashville.

“I packed up my car and drove down there and stayed for about 16 months while working on the Nashville Music City Center project,” described Chase. “That was an excellent learning experience. I was given a lot more responsibility. It was a very unique project so I learned a lot of new things.”

Next, in February 2012, he went to Oakland, Calif., to work on the Oakland Airport Connector Project. He is there today, working out of Danny’s Construction Co.’s San Francisco location. He is part of a huge project that will enhance transportation to and from the Oakland Airport.

“I packed everything I owned into a Pod and shipped it to Oakland,” he said. “I then drove across country and setup my home in Dublin, Calif.”

Chase appreciates the many opportunities that his job has presented.

“I enjoy traveling, I get to see new places around the country, meet many new people and work on awesome projects that I could only dream of being a part of just a few years ago,” said Chase. “It is hard being so far away from family and friends but that’s just part of life.”

As project manager his job is to coordinate daily work activities with field crews and the general contractor, develop construction plans, scheduling, cost control and “anything that comes up.”

No two days are the same. He’s done everything from testing bolts and doing quality control inspections to developing erection plans and scheduling work.

Chase credits his PNC education with preparing him for his profession. “PNC did a great job — I learned everything from the surveying practice to bolt testing to scheduling. It’s been very useful to me. It is hard to get totally ready for the real-world situations in a classroom but the education at PNC provides great building blocks for students to progress in the construction field.”

While he worked with Danny’s Construction Co. as a student, Chase admits that he could not have anticipated that his degree would open the opportunities that it has.

“I encourage every student to try as hard as possible to find an internship early on in their college years. The experience is invaluable. The PNC faculty members are knowledgeable and have a lot of experience that prepare you for what you will face in your career. My internship exposed me to real-world situations that we would talk about in class.”

Chase noted that Tom Dobrowski, associate professor of construction engineering and management technology, “was a great mentor. His guidance was invaluable. I would not be where I am without him.”



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