What do P1 Project Manager Brady Kyle and P1 Project Engineer Amelia Mullin have in common? They may not work on the same projects or teams, but they were both once P1 interns that became full-time employees.
P1 has a solid history of interns returning after college: more than 15 in recent years. These interns come from different schools and backgrounds, but have all found their home at P1.
Recruiting is critical for any company’s success, and P1 takes it very seriously. Finding great interns is highly competitive in today’s market.
According to P1 Vice President Glenn Shain, “Without a good intern program, we would just be chasing our tail in the challenging recruitment market. This is the path to fueling P1’s growth."
“P1 works hard to find these talented new interns every year.”
Former intern Amelia just joined the P1 team full-time this summer, but is already finding a culture of support.
“Of all the companies I interacted with during college, P1 was by far the most supportive,” Amelia said. “My coworkers have always been welcoming and respectful, and my supervisors willing to listen to my ideas, answer questions, and consider requests.”
About 10 years ago, Brady found P1 through his Mechanical Systems Professor and MCA student chapter faculty advisor at Pittsburg State University. Other interns-to-associates found P1 on the Handshake app.
P1 makes it to multiple colleges for job fairs, but good, old-fashioned word of mouth works too.
That’s how Project Engineer Camden Wheatley found his way to P1. Camden knew P1 Vice President Steve Smith growing up, and became familiar with the construction industry early.
“Knowing Steve partly inspired my pursuit of an engineering degree, and eventually an internship at P1,” Camden said.
From casinos in Las Vegas to hospitals in Kansas City, all of these interns got different work experiences - experiences that ultimately brought them back to P1 after college.
Project Engineer Connor Hayes reflects on his time as a P1 intern.
“I was only 19,” he said. “There was so much I didn’t know, so tried to soak up as much as I could, every day. Everything was new to me and it was all exciting.”
Connor still holds on to that excitement, and has been building a very successful career with P1 Service for more than three years now.
Senior Project Manager Eric Affolter explains the two-sided value of internships.
“Internships don’t just help out the students, but also the companies looking for new talent,” Eric said.
“The internship gives P1 the opportunity to evaluate students for a longer period of time to determine if they would be a good permanent fit in the organization.”
Project Engineer Hayley Leonard has been with P1’s Architectural Metal shop for nearly two years.
“My internship at P1 was a great introduction to the field and how it works, especially for someone like me who had little experience in the construction industry,” Hayley said.
Project Engineer Silvana Alcantara says the biggest take away from her internship was variety.
“I enjoyed being able to wet my feet as intern and learn from different projects and experiences,” she said.
“I had the opportunity to be on site at a project for my first internship, which allowed me to see what construction was all about in the ‘real world’ as opposed to what they tell you about it in school,” he said.
After graduation, all of these former interns had their pick of places to go, but ultimately decided to come back to P1.
The number one reason? They all seem to agree it’s work/life balance and culture.
“You aren’t a cog in the machine here, you are part of a team that works together and is understanding about the various challenges of work life balance,” Camden said.
P1 President Kollin Knox says that is something the company has always made a priority.
“I can remember as far back as my early days at A.D. Jacobson. The mantra was - and still is - 'family first',” Kollin said.
“It's extremely important that everyone finds a way to manage work responsibilities, honor family commitments, and invest in themselves,” he explained. “I want all of our associates to be mentally and physically healthy, and work/life balance is imperative in achieving this goal."
Even as P1 grows, the company still maintains that ”family feel”, fostering an environment of learning and support.
“I love the family vibe at P1,” Silvana said “We are technically a large company, but still have that smaller company feel. It’s nice to feel like I know so many people at P1.”
Glenn says P1 was inspired by the 2023 interns.
“The feedback this year was very positive as our interns gathered for the final time. Whether or not they join us after graduation, they have already become P1 brand ambassadors by sharing their positive intern experience with their peers,” he said.
Recruitment for next year has already begun, and P1 is out looking for the next generation of associates. Know someone who might be interested? Click here for more information or to apply!
P1 Electrical Service Manager Alex VanLeeuwen has been with P1 for nine years, but his P1 career journey began with a last-minute internship opportunity in 2014.
“I was an online student studying from my basement. When I signed up for the Spring semester and a summer internship accredited class, I thought I had time to find an internship.
But I had waited too long - intern spots were all full everywhere I turned.
I had been following P1 for several years while I was an electrician in the field. I was intrigued by the history and evolution of P1, and the rigid tasks associated with merging MEP trades.
P1 happened to have one internship position left with the mechanical service division at the Topeka branch. After interviewing, I could tell this was a position that would teach me a lot in a short period of time.
To this day, the P1 business principle of “Honest Business Only” has been a major part of my daily work ethic, both inside and outside of P1. The “100/0” philosophy is also a great reminder that I am responsible for my action - with zero excuses.
Gaining knowledge from the long-tenured employees has been seamless for my growth as a manager. I also appreciate the evolution from year to year that the organization provides, as well as the growth opportunity that comes with it.
My advice for the next generation? Ask the ‘dumb question.’ If you are curious, others are too. Be the one to ask. When you have downtime, introduce yourself to someone new - you may need them someday.
Visit the field employees and learn how MEP trades collaborate. It’s truly a masterpiece when an MEP project concludes!”
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P1 Group works with P1 Service, LLC to provide HVAC, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing service, performance solutions, and preventative maintenance. P1 Service, LLC has locations in Lenexa, KS, Wichita, KS, Topeka, KS, St. Joseph, MO, and Ankeny, IA.