With its deep connections to industry, George Brown College is able to provide Construction Management students with relevant and meaningful training experiences, and many opportunities to advance their careers.
Students in the four-year Bachelor of Technology degree program benefit from the college’s extensive industry partnerships in many ways: through programming that is informed by the current needs of the sector; through exposure to insider perspectives by way of guest speakers from the field; and through access to valuable networking that can lead to internships, summer jobs and even full-time employment.
These industry partnerships greatly enhanced the education of Andrew Erlandson, a 2009 graduate of the Construction Management program. He says hearing the insights of industry professionals at various campus events reinforced the practical value of his education, and helped him put his training into real-world context.
“Having conversations with people who had years of experience changed my perspective and confirmed what my professors had been saying,” Erlandson says. “The fact that the program was not just pure academics but had application to the field helped make the lessons stick.”
After his first year in the program, Erlandson was able to get a summer internship at former general contracting firm Vanbots, and when summer ended, he was invited to work there part time during the following school year.
“Seeing the concepts we covered in action gave a lot more meaning to what I learned in the classroom,” Erlandson says.
The connections to industry that George Brown made available to Erlandson endured beyond his completion of the program. His part-time job at Vanbots turned into full-time work, and he stayed at the company until it was acquired by Carillion Canada in 2011. Then Marcus Gillam, the son of former Vanbots head Keith Gillam, hired Erlandson to work at Gillam Group, his new Toronto-based construction management company focusing on medium-sized industrial, commercial and institutional projects.
Today, Erlandson works for the company as an estimator, which involves determining costs and creating budgets for construction jobs. Among the projects he has been involved in have been the development of a new wildlife health centre for the Toronto Zoo, a renovation of the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, and a renovation of a Honda manufacturing plant in Alliston, Ont.
Marcus Gillam and his family have a strong tradition of supporting the next generation of construction professionals. His father helped establish the Construction Management program at George Brown, as a way to ensure relevant, up-to-date training that would provide value to the industry. As well, each year, one student in the program wins The Gillam Family Scholarship Award. And Gillam regularly recruits interns in and graduates of the program. Currently, his approximately 60-person workforce includes about eight Construction Management graduates.
“These young people coming into the company — they will be the leaders of tomorrow. We like to invest in people and have them grow with the company over the long term,” Gillam says. “By bringing them on board, you are also investing in your company’s future.”
Learn more about the Bachelor of Technology (Construction Management) program.