When Ethan Beliveau, a 2022 graduate, was asked why he chose to double major in building construction and real estate, he had a concrete answer:
“I think you can come up with an idea, or you take somebody else’s vision, and you make it a reality. Like with real estate, somebody comes to you and if you’re an agent, they want to buy a house, and you can find them a house they want to live the rest of their life, pass on to their kids, that kind of thing. Or if you’re into construction, somebody comes to you with a design for a house, and they say oh yeah, I want to build this — same idea. I just like the kind of hands on, leave my mark on the world kind of thing. I think both align with my goals.”
Beliveau currently works for Holder Construction as a Field Coordinator. He held three different internships with the company , first as an office engineer and eventually as a field coordinator. He currently works on the construction of a data center now, which is a key component for storing what we observe and use on the internet.
“Looking back at myself, I’d totally say keep doing internships,” Beliveau said, “Internships are how you get jobs and experience while you’re in college.”
Beliveau described how his building construction and real estate majors come together in his current job:
“What’s interesting is that a lot of the data centers out there are run by private real estate companies that invest in data centers. Like out here — our project is for a third party real estate developer. But their development is just data centers, and they lease the space out in their data centers to huge tech companies like Google. It’s like land lording for internet space.”
As a field coordinator, Beliveau sometimes faces stress facilitating the construction of the data centers. Unlike in the classroom, a project behind schedule doesn't just mean a failing grade — it can mean huge delays in progress.
“You have to meet these deadlines, but since you’re the contractor, you’re not actively doing the work, you’re facilitating the work,” said Beliveau, “You can feel like you’ve got a great handle on things, but sometimes the people that you’re managing are the ones having the problems, whether it be people that are behind on work or equipment that is going to be late. Especially with the data centers, they must meet super stringent deadlines for their clients, the big tech clients.”
However, working under high stress can have amazing payoffs. Despite the strict deadlines, Beliveau finds fulfillment in knowing his work makes a difference in the success of the company.
“What I like about these projects is how substantial, and big in general, some of the projects for these buildings are. I mean, some of the prices range up to $500 million, it’s really cool the scale you’re a part of. You have a profound impact on how everything goes.”
Beliveau looks forward to career goals of becoming a superintendent, so he can continue to pursue his passion for more hands-on experiences.