UW Civil Engineering Student is Intern for Cornerstone
Khoa Nguyen, Evergreen High School class of 2020, snagged an internship with Cornerstone General Contractors to rebuild his own high school! He is entering his senior year at UW in civil engineering.
“This is an amazing opportunity to get to work on my own high school,” Khoa said. “I’ve always wanted to give back to my community.”
“It is awesome to see a new school being built for Evergreen students. I was in some of the portables when I went to school here. White Center deserves this. There is so much love within this community. I live 2 minutes away, and it is going to be so nice to drive by and see a new school here.”
Find out who at Evergreen inspired Khoa to pursue a career path in civil engineering—a basketball coach! Learn how he found this internship and what he is learning on the job.
Who at Evergreen inspired you to pursue a career in civil engineering?
“One staff member who motivated me to pursue this career was Justin Cox. He was my high school basketball coach, and he inspired me because of how much work he does for the youth within our community. I have known him since middle school. Even though it was my own choice to pursue a career in civil engineering, I believe that Justin played a huge role in this because of his will to constantly give back to our community.”
“I’ve always been interested in civil engineering, buildings and construction. I like seeing things come together. I like to be outside a lot, too.”
How did Khoa find the internship?
“I got connected through a career fair at UW called EXPO, focused on construction. I talked to Max, the lead estimator and he helps with the intern program. I got an interview. At that time, Cornerstone was still bidding on the Evergreen project. Then he reached out afterward to say they got the job. I was thrilled and very excited. I had a spot with them, but this made a lot of sense when they got the Evergreen job to place me here.”
What is he learning?
Khoa is getting familiar with looking at specs and drawings, learning to navigate Procore, a system that a lot of construction companies and subcontractors use. He is learning how to review information and questions submitted by subcontractors, send items like product requests to the architect and district/owner, and then communicate answers back to the subcontractor.
“I feel like I’m learning a lot.”
“Every week we have safety walks. We look for any precautions, make sure everyone has their hard hat and goggles and look for any safety concerns to address or raise awareness.”
Khoa expects to see the beginning of the concrete poured for the foundations of the new school before he returns to college this fall. The forms are being built now.
“I hope to be back for the grand opening in 2025!”