2023 COMMENCEMENT SERIES | Full circle: Senior co-op with Findorff helps build O’Brien Hall — and leads to full-time job with construction firm

Kamila Turczewski, Mike Stern, Acting Keyes Dean of Business Administration Tim Hanely and Executive Associate Dean David Clark pose in E. J. and Margaret O’Brien Hall.

Few college students can say they helped construct the very building they take classes in. But Kamila Turczewski can.

The graduating senior in the Opus College of Engineering completed her co-op in project management with Findorff, the Wisconsin-based construction company that built Dr. E. J. and Margaret O’Brien Hall. Turczewski says the year-and-a-half project gave her valuable real-world experience.

“It brings me immense joy to see students and faculty using all the space throughout the building,” Turczewski says. “Every time I walk in the building, I look at all the white steel columns throughout and remember my coordination with subcontractors to apply proper fire protection and painting.”

Turczewski was first connected with Findorff through a Marquette career fair in fall 2021.

“I previously did an internship in their virtual design construction department over the summer of 2020 and decided to apply. I got the role in their project management department two years later,” Turczewski says.

She soon found out that her project assignment would not be far from home; she’d be helping develop the new home for Marquette Business and innovation leadership programs over the course of three semesters.

“I couldn’t have been happier with my placement to work right on campus on a building for the Marquette community and collaborating alongside Marquette from the client perspective,” Turczewski says.

Marquette engineering alumnus and project executive at Findorff Mike Stern has worked with Marquette students in the past.

“We find that the students are excited to work on projects that impact the university — it’s a priority that we provide that opportunity for them,” Stern says.

During her time with the construction company, Turczewski was given the responsibility of coordinating with Marquette, engineers, architects and subcontractors; she also handled the project’s punch list, which consisted of going through the building for final touch ups and alterations before the grand opening.

“This co-op was a huge learning opportunity for me,” Turczewski says. “I learned how to signal to operators to hoist materials into the building and how to operate a boom lift. I was able to go up 70 feet in the air on the Marquette campus from the construction site.”

As graduation day approaches, Turczewski looks ahead to a bright future. Starting in September, she will be working full time as a project engineer for Findorff.

“The Marquette co-op program has produced amazing graduates who are working throughout the city and country for Findorff,” Stern says. “We are fortunate that Kamila was able to work with us as a co-op. She brings energy and excitement to work each day that is contagious to others.”

Not far down the road, there are two of the projects that Turczewski is looking forward to working on: Marquette’s reimagined Wellness and Recreation facility and the new home for the College of Nursing.

“There is so much more to learn when it comes to construction and project management and couldn’t imagine kicking off my career anywhere else,” she says.

‘Full circle’ is the latest piece in Marquette Today’s 2023 Commencement Series. Read more stories of how our graduates are setting off to Be The Difference beyond campus:

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