Letter from A Student

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The Chapter received this report from a student who was sponsored by the Academic Committee to attend the national CSI Convention held in Chicago in September.

For those of you reading this my name is Joseph Montebello and I am a student in the Construction Management program at Pratt Institute in New York. Last month, I was given the opportunity by my school to attend the CSI’s annual convention in Chicago. While there I met many interesting people, and was privileged to attend six education sessions, ranging from Forensic Evaluation Techniques for Masonry to The Challenges of High Performance Building Envelopes. The convention was not what I had expected. I expected to see more construction students like myself. What I found was many educated and informed professionals eager to share their knowledge about the construction industry. The convention turned out to be greater then I ever imagined.

I’ve become familiar with the CSI over the past year, as they encourage students within the construction program to become members. Each month I receive the catalog, and read it on the train as I ride back and forth from school. Being in Chicago, fully involved with the members of CSI I realized its importance to the industry. The CSI is a place for  students and professionals to come together to learn about the construction industry. Participating in the convention, speaking with professionals, listening to the lectures, and visiting the many booths at the show, gave me the unique opportunity to learn more about the industry and recognize just what makes
it tick. Being inside McCormick Place accompanied by people with years of experience in designing and building, I felt very lucky. Although most of my peers know what the CSI is, I do not think they understand the importance of being involved at such a young age.

I have realized that in building my construction knowledge, being around those with more experience then I have is extremely important to my development. Many mistakes can be avoided by benefiting from others experience. It helps students to learn the right way. Going to the convention expanded my horizons and has made me realize how much opportunity exists within the industry today. Thank you to everyone who I met at the show, I had a wonderful time and I hope to see everyone next year in Phoenix!

Joseph Montebello
CSI Annual Convention 2011, Chicago IL