Industry Partnerships

Sponsor firms that take on student interns for the required three work periods are the backbone of our internship program. Since 1976, over 200 U.S. and global organizations have sponsored CEM student interns. Most sponsor firms are general contractors, specialty contractors, construction managers, or consultants or owners with significant field construction activities.

Included among our program goals are to be responsive to the needs of the construction industry, to involve practitioners in the CEM program, and to provide adequate numbers and quality of CEM graduates to the ever-growing number of firms in the industry.

Our mission: To be a global leader in construction engineering by producing engineering leaders proficient in all aspects of project development and execution.

Providing the construction industry with engineering leaders requires deep experiential learning through industry partnerships. These partnerships are intended to enhance classroom education through internship experience.

Sponsor firms are selected by Purdue based on their ability to provide the intern with meaningful and challenging work experience on significant construction projects. Students typically work under the supervision of a mentor/supervisor in the firm who plans and assigns the intern work tasks, which should progressively enhance responsibilities. Advice, assistance, and support to the student intern also begin with the firm's mentor/supervisor, who is a key "faculty member" in the CEM student's overall education.

Purdue works closely with sponsor firms to enhance the quality of the internship experience. We publish the Handbook for Mentors of Purdue Interns, which is a concise aid for industry workers who supervise interns. The nature and value of internship experiences is monitored and ways of improving the quality of the intern experience are discussed with the sponsor firms. Periodically, workshops at Purdue assist new sponsor firms in deciding how best to carry out their mentoring roles.

Student Internship Assignments

Assignment of student interns to appropriate sponsor firms is Purdue's responsibility. Twenty years of experience has proven that all three parties—the student, the sponsor firm, and Purdue—are best served when the Director of Internships makes the assignment of every first-year student to a firm. The Director bases each assignment on personal knowledge of the student's aptitudes, attitudes, and goals as well as the needs and corporate culture of the firm. He works closely with the firm's representative, who will approve the student assignment to maximize successful matches. Every sponsor firm is invited to the annual Spring Internship Banquet, held at Purdue in early April, where sponsors and students meet and arrange the job reporting details. The success rate of intern assignments averages 95%, based on firms' evaluations of first-year student performances in recent years.

Becoming a Sponsor Firm

Purdue welcomes any construction organization who desires to become an intern sponsor. Many firms find the CEM intern program a valuable component of their recruiting activities. The key to success for all three parties—the student, the sponsor firm, and Purdue—is a commitment by the firm to provide experience and learning of high value to the student. The administrative requirement is a signed Memorandum of Agreement with Purdue by which the firm will employ the intern for three work periods (assuming satisfactory student performance), pay an intern wage at or above the minimum set by Purdue's Industry Advisory Board, pay certain reimbursements (e.g. travel to work location etc.), and provide Purdue with an evaluation of the student's performance at the end of each work period.

For more information about the CEM program or to discuss sponsor firm arrangements:

Hiring CEM Students and Graduates

Employers interested in hiring Purdue Construction Engineering and Management students can register with our online database. Following registration, companies can request to set up on-campus interviews and access student resumes. Students can also access company postings, sign up for interviews, and post resumes online. Employers interested in hiring Purdue Construction Engineering and Management students can find information on the Industry Opportunities page. 

Guest speaker Augie Ziccarelli in CEM 280 course

Industry in the Classroom

Construction practitioners are frequently invited to give seminars at Purdue. In recent years, practitioners have made around 40 classroom appearances annually to speak about construction-related topics. We also retain a CEM Advisory Board, which consists of industry representatives who—among other things—participate in focused curriculum reviews, helping us to modernize and improve our course offerings and content to both reflect and help shape the construction industry.