Just as the P1 internship program hits full swing for the summer, former intern and current P1 Project Engineer (PE) Silvana Alcantara is celebrating her one-year anniversary as a full time P1 employee.
She came to the PE position armed with experience gained in the P1 internship program, and now both she and P1 are reaping the benefits.
Silvana was selected as a P1 intern in the summer of 2019, and even though her time as an intern was short, Silvana feels like she acquired a great deal of experience. She said she didn’t really know anything about the industry coming in, so she asked a lot of questions.
“I was very transparent about my lack of knowledge and everyone was very willing to help me learn,” she said.
She also liked the variety of work she experienced, and felt like P1 was rooting for her success.
“Whether I stayed with P1 or not, they wanted me to do well and go out in the world and be successful,” Silvana said.
Silvana graduated from Kansas State University in 2020 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and took a job in Louisiana. She quickly realized the work environment wasn’t what she wanted and felt it was too early in her career to be dreading the work day. She began looking at a variety of employment options, one of which was P1 Group.
“P1 promotes such a healthy work environment, where you also work hard and can be passionate about what you are doing,” she said.
“When it came down to deciding, I realized I was happiest with P1, I already knew some people here, and I could be close to my family.”
Silvana returned in June of 2021, and she is thankful that she had her experiences as an intern to draw from.
“I still had a lot to learn, but having the exposure as an intern, working with clients, and presenting a professional and friendly face helped me feel a lot more confident this time around.”
One of the biggest things she enjoys about her job is the same thing she remembers enjoying as an intern: the diversity of the work.
“I really like that there is something different every day and I will get to see new things all the time.”
In her short time here, she has already worked on a variety of projects, from a pizza plant to data centers and hotels.
“The systems we install are all similar, but seeing how they go into different types of buildings keeps it interesting.”
She is currently wrapping up her first project, Project Jayhawk in Salina, KS, with Project Manager Nick Lawless.
“Silvana brought a lot of organization and tech savvy approaches to the work,” Nick said. “She utilized our new Stratus software to help us track our installation progress, provided those progress reports to the contractor on a weekly basis through their FPMS system, and helped ensure everyone was performing their tasks,” Nick said.
Silvana said she was very fortunate to be able to work with Nick and is now looking forward to the next challenge. But most importantly, she feels like she now has an exceptional work life balance.
“I am excited about going to work every day, but still being able to spend time with my family. P1 has given me that opportunity and I look forward to a successful future here.”
"Don’t be afraid to ask questions no matter what it is. It could be something as simple as “what is an RFI?” because they don’t teach you those things in school. If you don’t know what something is, it is better for you to ask a question and learn what it is. Don’t be embarrassed because you don’t know something.
You will learn a lot more, and it shows that you want to learn. If you feel you want more work or you feel you want to help out with something, take the initiative and go for it. Because at P1 they don’t want you to go out in the field and get hurt, it’s a core value here to teach you how to do it right and do it safely, and if you do it efficiently that is even better!"
Silvana stays very busy when she isn’t at work. She plays a lot of volleyball and is in a couple of different leagues. She has gotten involved with the MCAKC and plays on their sand volleyball team as well. She likes to hang out with her family and has recently gotten a puppy, Milo, a Corgi-Shih tzu mix.
Silvana grew up hearing and speaking Spanish in her home and took classes in high school to learn how to read and write it. This skill has already come in handy on the job with sub-contractors that are more fluent in Spanish. “They are able to communicate better in Spanish, so I was able to make sure they understood the job requirements.”
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