Rylan Richter is a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student who for the past 13 months worked at Graham Construction as a student project coordinator. The full-time role was a Queen’s Undergraduate Internship Program experience.

Richter worked on-site at the new Albert Street Residence, a five-story 334-bedroom building on the northwest corner of Queen’s campus, which opened for the Fall 2022 term. He learned firsthand of the numerous components and participants in a large-scale project like this one.

“It really opened my eyes to the greater construction industry,” he says, “and the amount of people and companies that are involved in a project like this. This project alone probably has at least 100 companies working on it, from the consultants to the trades, to the client and all their affiliated companies. A lot of people put their hands on a project like this and make an impact.”

“They all have their say in the design and the choices of the project, and then they go to the general contractor, which I'm working for, and then from there, the trades. All the different trades complete the task on-site. Each group has their own scopes and responsibilities, and everyone has to work together to complete a project.”


Rylan Richter at job site


A student of mechanical engineering, Richter was initially concerned that he’d find his internship experience more focused on civil engineering. In time, he discovered the ties to his own discipline and the overall value in expanding the scope of his work.

“I found a lot of the project components and working as a team were really relevant to my design team experience in school and in classes,” he says. “And working together, of course, as a project team with my company has been a great experience.”

The yearlong term of his full-time employment granted Richter access to the ongoing collaborations and coordination from various stakeholders in and outside of Queen’s to complete a project of this scale.

“Throughout my internship, I've seen a lot of the sides of Queen's University that maybe most students aren't aware of,” he says. “There's a lot going on behind the scenes. And working with a lot of people with Queen's to get this project built has been really interesting and a great experience for me.”

“For any students considering an internship with QUIP, I would highly recommend it. I've had a great experience working here, and I couldn't recommend it enough. I think the experience is invaluable, graduating with 12-16 months of actual professional experience, and I couldn't imagine graduating without it now.”


Rylan Richter in front of construction site