Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Construction Systems Management
Commercial Point, OH
Mackenzie Lange’s most valuable learning experiences throughout her undergraduate program came not in a classroom but on a construction site. The hands-on experiences she had working as an intern at various sites around Central Ohio—data centers, warehouses, parks, medical facilities, and more—made her classroom learning easier. The more time she spent on sites seeing buildings come together in real-time, the better she could visualize the process when learning about it in the classroom.
While at OSU, Kenzie had two internship experiences with area companies, Turner Construction and ASI Commercial Roofing and Maintenance. At both companies, she filled multiple positions including Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) Preconstruction intern, Assistant MEP Superintendent, Assistant Project Engineer, and Assistant Project Manager. Kenzie believes these internships will give her an edge on the job because she now has a good deal of experience on the jobsite itself, having built her familiarity with different components of building construction, her knowledge of trades, and other practical skills along the way.
During her internships, Kenzie had the unique experience of working on a large-scale campus site consisting of twelve data centers. As Kenzie shared, although conventional industry wisdom states “you never build the same building twice,” this project came close to breaking that axiom. She found that this afforded her the opportunity to build each subsequent building better and more efficiently than the last, applying new lessons she learned with each successive iteration of the build.
In addition to her internships, Kenzie found time to work as a student grader for several Construction Systems Management courses. In doing so, she had the opportunity to help her fellow students master difficult concepts. She reflected, “the ability to teach another about something you are working so hard to learn yourself is the most rewarding thing, and this experience has opened my mind to the possibility of teaching in the future.”
A first-generation college student, Kenzie’s greatest sense of accomplishment came from funding her entire senior year through scholarships. Seeing all her hard work come to fruition in a tangible way proved to her that her efforts had been worth the energy.
Kenzie identifies Phil Sutton as her mentor. She shared, “you can tell how much he cares about his students, both inside and outside the classroom, and that goes a long way. Not only has he supported my educational and professional careers, always asking questions and showing he is interested, but he has also taken the time to reach out to see how I (and other students) are doing mentally and emotionally. A professor who cares this much and takes the time to get to know each and every one of his students is invaluable.”
After graduation, Kenzie plans to accept a full-time offer as a Project Manager for ASI Commercial Roofing and Maintenance, where she will manage roofing construction on jobs throughout the Columbus area.
Service, involvement, and accolades: Construction Systems Management Club | AWARES Student Mentorship Program | 2020 Roofing Alliance Competition Team, co-captain | New Builders Heavy Civil Competition | Scioto Scrappin’ and More 4-H Club, student advisor