My Internship with PBS – From Trinidad & Tobago to Naples, Florida
As an international student from Trinidad and Tobago, I recently completed a summer internship with PBS Contractors.
I was impressed with the company from start to finish, and I am grateful for the most fulfilling experience of my career to date.
I took on the role of Assistant Field Manager to help the Lead Field Managers on their job sites. At every job I visited, I was given the opportunity to walk through, look at construction documents, and ask every detailed question I had. It was such an amazing experience, interacting with multiple trade partners and engaging in problem-solving for a range of scenarios. At the end of it all, it is such a pleasure and privilege to be part of 35 Stories for 35 Years with PBS Contractors.
During the first week of my internship, I learned about the many parts of this well-oiled machine. The team scheduled me for various meetings throughout the week, introducing Marketing, Sales, and Accounting. Most importantly, I met with Bart Zino, the President, to discuss the 28 Fundamentals that guide the PBS Way. During my initial research, I read about the PBS Way, and it made the company my number one pick as a potential future employer. Honestly, I thought it might be too good to be true! Could a company of close to 50 persons truly remain aligned with 28 core values in their lives and work? During that first week, I began to see it was all possible. Mr. Zino shared that the 28 Fundamentals help each person live by the mission statement, “We Build Better Lives For our Team, our Clients, and our Community.”
Mr. Zino was not the only person I had the pleasure of meeting during my first week. The owner, Russell Budd, has a tradition of taking every new employee to lunch, including interns! Until Mr. Budd, I never met an employer who really listened and took the time to learn about each person and give them a chance to share their story. Mr. Budd researched my home country before our meeting, which many people would not take the time to do. I was also given a book recommendation, The Infinite Game, closely relating to the PBS Way and its approach to business in general. The Infinite Game suggests that a company should work as a team player and aim for long-term goals rather than short-term. A company should help to better all individuals and all stakeholders who are involved. PBS makes a point to operate this way, and it is no surprise that after 35 years, the company is still growing and earning new awards like the Best in Business for Commercial Construction in the Southwest Florida Area.
At PBS Contractors, client-customer relationships are highly valued. During my time with the company, I learned what it means to be a concierge builder and how to go the extra mile to surpass a client’s expectations. PBS employees are always one step ahead, taking a personal interest in each job as if it was their home or business. Their Guild Quality rating is a testament to their continued improvement and success in this area. PBS invites each client to review and rate their experience with the company, and their feedback is discussed in monthly field manager meetings – a time and place for going over important topics, bouncing off ideas, and scheduling.
While PBS Contractors is an impressive company, my coworkers are responsible for making my experience so fantastic! Whether it’s a short chat in the office or a conversation with trade partners on the job site, I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with like-minded, intelligent individuals. Everyone was always willing to give me honest feedback on my performance and the progress on each of my jobs. The patience, kindness, and inclusivity of those around me made my internship so worthwhile, packed with new information every day. Project Manager, Bryant Johnston, took me under his wing during my time with PBS. Not only was he a great boss, but a fantastic leader, teacher, and friend. Bryant showed respect and kindness to every person on his projects. He taught me that I must always take things in stride no matter what problems arise. On the occasional difficult day when things were going wrong, Bryant would bring a light-hearted approach with funny photos and quotes via text.
Throughout all my previous work experiences, I never felt that my successes were noticed. During my final week at PBS, I attended the weekly operations meetings at the office. After a short introduction by Aome, the Marketing & Events Manager, I received awards from three colleagues I collaborated with over the summer. I was in complete shock! I was recognized for performing two PBS fundamentals, “being a great team player” and “honoring commitments.” This summer, I learned about construction, but perhaps more importantly, I learned about being a team player and focused on myself and my goals. With that said, I am boastful and proud to wear a PBS Contractors shirt on a job site. The support that I feel is entirely unmatched by anything I have experienced before. I would be thrilled to work with PBS Contractors again in the future.