By Diego de Bedout, 2018 Alumnus of the U of M Civil Engineering Program
I was part of the Construct*ium Mentorship program during my senior year at the University of Minnesota (2017-2018). At the time I was a board member of the Construction & Facility Management Student Association that helped put this program together. Our student group and its executive team (with key members including Meir Avila, Brett Sillerud, and Levi Erickson) successfully recruited interested students, and the MCA and Construct*ium teams did an amazing job in delivering a solid mentorship program that I think many students like myself benefited from. I can say that my personal experience with the program exceeded all the expectations I had of having an industry mentor in the “construction world” of Minnesota, and that through this program I gained valuable knowledge and skills that I use to this day.
My mentor for the year was Spencer Kubat, who is the VP of Sales and Marketing at Wells Concrete. Spencer has over 40 years of experience in the construction industry, and receiving mentorship, guidance, and advice from a professional with his qualifications was a privilege and an honor for a senior-year student about to graduate college.
Spencer and I would meet monthly to go over an assigned short task that the Construct*ium program would send out for us to complete. These tasks had topics ranging from construction estimating, scheduling, bid evaluation, technical writing, and many others. We went above and beyond program requirements and met at different jobsites where I learned about precast concrete in different applications. One of the coolest projects I got to see was the construction of Minnesota United FC’s Allianz Field Stadium in St. Paul, in a tour well-put-together by another Wells Concrete Construct*ium mentor, Mat Boie. This tour was an outstanding experience in a cold Midwest January morning.
We culminated the mentorship year with a tour of the Wells Concrete precast plant in Wells, Minnesota, another great learning experience about the front-end work within precast construction. I would like to thank Spencer and all other mentors out there for dedicating your time and resources in teaching and shaping the next generations of construction industry professionals. I hope I can follow your example and become a valuable mentor to the generations that follow me.