Scholarship Spotlight: Matthew Blount

Congratulations to CEM student Matthew Blount on being the recipient of five scholarships: Beaver Heavy Construction, Bob F. Jesse, Clark Hyman Omni Construction, J. Gilbert Heimkamp, Tim Turner Memorial

Name: Matthew Blount

Graduation year: 2023

Internship Company: Kiewit

Scholarships: Beaver Heavy Construction, Bob F. Jesse, Clark Hyman Omni Construction, J. Gilbert Heimkamp, Tim Turner Memorial

Tell me some of your “story"

"I grew up and spent my entire childhood in a small town in northern New Jersey. When I was young, my grandparents had an apartment in New York City. Every so often, they would take my brother and I out to their apartment to explore the city and spend the night with them. One thing that always stuck with me from these trips was sitting on the porch at night and looking up at all the big cranes on the skyline and watching the planes fly overhead. Reflecting back on this, I believe that this was my first interest in construction."

Tell me a little about your experience as a CEM student.

"I have very much enjoyed my experience so far as a CEM student. My favorite part about the program is how tight knit it is. From getting to know Brandon and Bonnie to all the great clubs, it's been a very welcoming experience that has made me feel comfortable and at home."

Why did you choose the CEM program?

"I chose the CEM program because of my interest in construction and the fantastic opportunities students of the program get. It doesn't get much better than three guaranteed internships and a 100% job placement post-graduation."

Tell me about the projects you worked on/what company have you interned with while in the CEM program

"I have spent the past two summers with Kiewit. I have been an estimating intern working out of the Kiewit Infrastructure Engineering district, located in Denver. The first summer I spent doing structural estimating on a massive highway pursuit in British Columbia, Canada. This past summer I was working on the drainage estimating for a highway pursuit in Washington state. Some of the technology I have used during these internships include Bluebeam and Trimble Business Center. Trimble is a very cool program that can create utility run takeoff reports for pipe installation with just a few clicks of the mouse. I spent a lot of time quality checking the model and building out trench templates in Trimble to prepare to run these takeoff reports."

What do these scholarships mean to you?

"These scholarships have made a big impact on my journey. It has given me the opportunity to not worry about paying for school and has allowed me to focus more on the coursework itself. It is a huge relief to not have to think about the financial aspects of attending college. I am extremely grateful for this scholarship, and I look forward to continuing to thrive as part of the CEM program."

How do you manage/balance coursework, internship and normal life?

"I have found that the best way to manage coursework, internships, and normal life is by ensuring that I take a little bit of time each day to relax and not think about school or work. Even if it is just 15-20 minutes, it is refreshing to take a deep breath and relax. On the weekends I take much more time to myself to ensure that I can spend time with my friends and not be stressed out over an assignment or exam. It is also beneficial to join a club that is outside the realm of what you are studying. I am very passionate about sports, so I am part of Sports Analytics at Purdue. This club has given me new friends who share the same passions that I do."

How is the CEM program living up to your expectations of it? 

"CEM has been all that I expected it to be and more. The program feels like more than just other students who are studying the same thing as me and professors who teach our classes. The faculty truly care about the students, and it has been a pleasure to get to know my fellow CEM classmates."

What are your plans after graduation?

"I plan to stay with Kiewit moving forwards and move into a field engineer role. I want to gain hands-on experience out in the field building work. I feel that this type of role is most aligned with my interests and future goals."