Hi guys! My name is Paul D’Angelo, and I am a junior studying Civil Engineering. I’m writing this post on behalf of the Construction Management Association of America USC Chapter (CMAA, for short), of which I am an active board member. I wanted to write about CMAA to tell a story about what makes USC great, as well as to share an interesting club you may not have previously considered joining!
Since joining the organization about a year ago in Fall 2019, I have realized the amount of potential that CMAA can provide for any student. We have members of a number of different majors including Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Real Estate Development, Urban Planning, Business Administration, and more. CMAA immediately caught my attention at my first Viterbi Involvement Fair as something different. I had never considered Construction Management, but the allure of the professionalism, the clear social bond between the members, and the internship opportunities drew me to start attending meetings.
I soon realized that USC CMAA is one of the best student organizations for finding professional opportunities and career growth. We had info sessions with companies seemingly almost every week throughout the first semester. CMAA was able to fly a few teammates and I out to Chicago in the Fall of 2019 to compete in a regional competition. Combined undergraduate and graduate, we also bussed up around 40 students to Reno, Nevada to participate in another regional competition in February 2020.
A group photo we took after we all finish our team presentations in Reno
If you’re unfamiliar with these construction competitions – which I am sure a number of you are – it’s sort of like a hackathon for a construction project. You’re given a prompt and have a period of time between 12 and 16 hours depending on which competition you enter, to come up with a deliverable, and prepare a presentation. The competitions are challenging yet very rewarding. It also is a great social opportunity to explore a new place with your friends for a few days in a new city.
Representing USC in the Chicago Regional Competition
USC CMAA helped me realize again that USC was the right choice for me for a number of reasons. Mainly, the older students in the club wanted me to succeed as much as they did themselves. The older students are constantly trying to help you in any way that they can. For example, introducing you to their old recruiters or sharing their experiences with past internships. I was able to get my internship this summer from direct contact with many of the people from the company before I ever interviewed for the position. I was also to make a number of friends across many majors that I wouldn’t have previously interacted with.
Our largest professional opportunity is our yearly Symposium featuring a fancy dinner, cool presentations, and one on one time with many faces of the industry. I met Ronald Tutor (of RTCC and RTH) at this before he gave a speech!
Without running into CMAA at that involvement fair, I’m not sure I would have ended up joining. I had no prior interest or experience in construction but now find myself incredibly thankful for CMAA. It has been a highlight of my time socially and professionally at USC. I highly encourage you to check us out at @USCCMAA on Instagram!