As Haskell’s Summer Internship Program concluded, participants tackled one last professional challenge, presenting a sweeping group project in which they reviewed and made recommendations about the six pillars of Haskell 2025, the company’s strategic plan for purposeful growth.
As with many aspects of the internship program, the presentations took on an unusual form because of the coronavirus pandemic. Originally, the program was to conclude with its annual Intern Summit, gathering all 58 interns from 12 different offices and 15 different jobsites across the country and in Singapore at Haskell’s headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida.
Instead, the two-day summit was held via Microsoft Teams, introducing participants virtually to different aspects of Haskell, such as a presentation on the Haskell Women’s Network and a virtual tour of Haskell Steel’s fabrication facility.
The main event, though, was the opportunity for the teams of interns to offer their perspectives on how the company could thrive and grow. Five members of Haskell’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT) listened, asked questions, offered feedback – and thoroughly appreciated the interns’ input.
“We value input from everyone at Haskell,” said John Paul Saenz, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Everyone’s voice matters. We uphold interns as an important part of our future. Interns bring a rich diversity of thought and perspective which clearly makes us a better company. This appreciation for future Haskell team members is why we invest so many resources in our internship programs.”
Pillar by pillar, here is a look at the interns’ impressions and suggestions regarding Haskell 2025:
The team proposed setting and incentivizing weekly goals for employees to increase motivation. As examples, the group suggested addressing additional training through Haskell’s Learning and Development Program and service-related activities that promoted community involvement. However, the group felt Haskell met the pillar almost completely.
“We feel like Haskell has put a lot of effort into making sure their employees enjoy their job, and it’s very apparent,” said Lainey Carvajal, a mechanical engineering intern.
Haskell has addressed this goal through the opening of strategic office locations, delivering 417 projects in 37 states and 12 countries, and earning more than $1.1 billion in annual revenue, according to the intern team.
However, team members suggested developments to promote stability and growth by improving support and engagement with team members and clients. This included increasing communication while many employees work remotely.
To invest in existing resources, the team proposed more technical software training and investment in Dyrsuptek, Haskell’s venture capital arm focused on innovation and technology.
Though Haskell already practices safe workplace procedures, including health screenings and a recordable incident rate four times better than the industry average, the group pressed for maximizing safety through awareness, training, communication and documentation.
Though Haskell has approached this pillar through strategic acquisitions and organic growth, as well as through investment in innovation and the formation of its Design & Consulting Services Group, interns suggested growing it further through expansion into process engineering services and support, pushing into personal care, cleaning products, pharmaceuticals and utility industries.
The team encouraged fee-for-service projects as an area to expand, touching on its ability to improve Haskell’s design ability and range.
Expanded use of modular construction, implementation of the Hazard Elimination/Risk Oversight Program to reduce worksite injury and use of HoloBuilder 360-degree view of construction sites all were touched on as areas to expand and innovate in the future.
In what became a common theme, team members emphasized further investment in Dysruptek in the innovation and technology spaces.
To optimize intellectual capital, they suggested increasing employee engagement and feedback. In addition to communicating via monthly newsletters and using the Bright Idea Platform, through which team members can pitch new ideas, interns proposed office leader workshops and regularly scheduled lunch-and-learn sessions for employees to familiarize themselves with the latest products and technologies.
The team also encouraged improving resource distribution between offices.
“As Haskell grows, resources should expand and flow to the newer locations,” intern Dayton Abbey said. “Every office should be as well-equipped as the major offices such as Jacksonville or Atlanta.”
Interns advocated greater team member recognition through employee spotlights. They also promoted greater accountability for company actions and culture through company-wide knowledge transfer sessions and informal office diversity discussions.
“Everybody has their own perspective,” architectural intern Matt Siddall said. “These informal office discussions can be a launching point for team members to express their own experience and perspectives.”
The team proposed solutions to promote efficiency, reduce costs and maximize earnings, such as further leveraging virtual and augmented reality, reducing execution timespan through predictive analysis, drones and robotics, and improving safety through wearables.
ELT members invited the interns to return next summer to see some of their ideas become reality. And considering that 16 members of the Class of 2020 were returning from the year before, it’s likely to happen.
“The Executive Leadership Team responds to advice and ideas from everyone,” Saenz said. “We are just like any other team member. We encourage candid and open dialogue without limitations because of role or tenure in the company. We are one company and one team. For those reasons, we respond to interns as we would any other team member – with respect, candor, and gratitude.”
About the writer: Ashton Erickson is a Haskell 2020 summer intern working in the Corporate Marketing department. She is a sophomore at the University of Florida majoring in Marketing and Economics.
Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 1,800 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.
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