By Rick Gardner
Thirty university students from all over the United States and Canada attended the 2022 IIBEC Convention and Trade Show thanks to sponsorships from the RCI-IIBEC Foundation (US) and RCI Foundation Canada. After the meeting we reached out to the students for their feedback and to see whether they felt their experiences made an impact on their careers. Were they able to find work in the building enclosure industry because of their attendance in Orlando? Their outstanding results follow.
Prabidhi Pandey, George Brown University
“On the evening of March 19, at one of the receptions, I ran into Frank Dippolito from Soprema. After having bonded over LinkedIn intricacies, he mentioned he saw potential in me in sales. Before introducing me to his boss, he mentioned to me that Richard Voyer, the CEO, was there that night. I did not think much of it—that is, until Frank and his team bet me $100 to talk to Richard.
“As someone that is 5’ 1” on a very good day, I squeezed past the cluster of people that were surrounding Richard. When I reached him, I told him that someone in his company thought I would be good at sales and that I was not at liberty to say who. That got a little chuckle out of him. A good start. I was doing fantastic. Within a few minutes of talking to Richard, we had exchanged contact information for me to send him a resume for the Ontario location openings. A connection was to be made with Sales Manager Peter Serino, and I had an interview set up.
“Walking back, I told Frank I did not need the $100 dollars. I had a job, which was exponentially better.
“On March 30, back home, I had my first interview. After a few more phone calls and negotiations, I had a second interview on April 26, where I was offered a position of Trainee Architectural Sales Representative. I cannot wait to sign the contract!”
Sadil Eidda, Drexel University
“(I’m excited to report) I got a job with Walker Consultants at their Houston office as a restoration engineer. I am starting on August 1. I am glad it all worked out before graduation. IIBEC helped me out in getting this job through all the connections and mentorships. I think after attending twice, I was able to know exactly what I want to work on in the building industry. Thank you for this opportunity, I appreciate everything IIBEC has done to help us in the industry.”
Philip Pachade, Western University
“I have met so many professionals, gained knowledge, and even made a group of good friends by attending two IIBEC conventions in 2021 and 2022. The IIBEC International Convention and Trade Show has also provided me the opportunity to interview for positions within the building enclosure industry.”
Montre’ale L. Jones, University of Kentucky
“The IIBEC experience is unlike any other. The community and wealth of knowledge shared as part of my experience with the organization thus far have been a significant enrichment to my personal and professional development as a young emerging architect and urban designer. I am currently an architectural design intern at BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) in New York City, and from my opportunities as part of IIBEC, such as attending the international convention and trade show in Phoenix, Arizona, and Orlando, Florida, I have absorbed a magnitude of valuable information that has helped guide me in my strategies of creation in the realm of design and execution and in how I may contribute to my team and project. Indeed, the seminars, lectures, and engagement with those professionals with years of experience in their fields have been transformative in my thinking and in how things or systems of the built environment are practiced or innovated through consultancy or management. This is an opportunity and experience I hope for students everywhere interested in the built environment in some way. May they take part in these meetings and leave enlightened and empowered, just like me.” –
Jeanine Hegwood, Ashworth College
“I love the Claus Moser quote, ‘Education costs money. But then so does ignorance.’ Thank you RCI-IBEC Foundation for helping to educate us.”
Matthew Sacdalan, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
“I am truly humbled and extremely blessed to have participated in a scholarship of a lifetime. Thanks to the generosity of IIBEC and the many outstanding professionals that lead the committee, students that strive to learn and expand our knowledge through our passion and drive for construction get to experience an educational and networking environment like no other.
“Through the IIBEC convention, I have partaken in many educational seminars, networked with many outstanding and charismatic industry professionals, and gained tremendous insider knowledge of the construction industry across Canada and the United States.
“Thanks to the conventions in Phoenix, Arizona, and Orlando, Florida, I have gained invaluable lessons, industry wisdom, and knowledge that cannot be expressed. As a result, with the many opportunities to network, I have been asked by several outstanding architectural, engineering, and construction management firms from across Canada and the United States to potentially relocate. Additionally, I gained current industry knowledge on problems and solutions of what is important in the industry and learned about several innovative products that will produce efficient solutions.
“I have been extremely thankful for an opportunity to attend, thankful to represent the students from Canada, thankful to represent Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, and thankful to experience an opportunity of a lifetime.
“I hope every student seeking to learn and educate themselves through construction does seek out IIBEC because what they can do for a student and what they do for the industry is truly magnificent.”
Eric Fernandez, Florida International University
“Thank you for allowing me to take part in such an amazing event. I made great connections and spoke to very knowledgeable people. It was an incredible experience and I look forward to contributing to the organization in the future.”