Internship Story: Emma Ardell at Cianbro

Emma Ardell, an Accounting major from Aroostook County, found her summer internship at the University of Maine Career Fair. Her experience at Cianbro left her feeling confident in her skills as she’s finishing her college career at the Maine Business School.

How did you hear about this internship with Cianbro?

I heard about this internship by taking advantage of the networking opportunities at UMaine. Before attending UMaine’s Career Fair, I researched which companies would be looking for interns with my major and made a list. I made a route to stop at every one of those booths. I am so thankful for the opportunities the University of Maine provides its students to further their experiences before entering the workforce.

Why did you choose to intern at Cianbro?

I chose to intern at Cianbro because I enjoyed their culture and opportunities. When they reached out to set up an interview, I was thrilled! In the interview, I was able to solidify that I would be a good fit for the position. When I arrived, I knew it was the right choice as they treat their team members with respect and prioritize their safety.

What were your internship tasks?

I had a plethora of internship tasks. I learned about job costing entries for construction, cost-benefit analysis, and approvals of correct business transactions. I also had the opportunity to lead an IT project to make an existing process more efficient, timely, and detailed.

What did you like most about your internship?

I liked the people of Cianbro the best. They invited me to the new position and my tasks on the first day. I had many opportunities to pick their brains as to why they chose Cianbro and gain more insights on future career paths. They never failed to answer my questions with interest.

What were the biggest challenges you faced as an intern?

The biggest challenge that I faced as an intern had to do with the project I was leading. I had to set up meetings and create a plan to make the project most efficient. It was a little nerve-wracking to lead a project during my first week there, but I adapted and learned how important it is to communicate with others. Another challenge was accounting for the expenses of a project. I had less than a week to account for the billings of the construction project. This task included learning the system, planning the most efficient way to go about it, and presenting it to the client on a tight deadline. As an intern, I didn’t expect to work with the client, but it gave me an understanding of the behind-the-scenes customer service in the construction industry.

What did you learn during your internship that you couldn’t have learned in the classroom?

I couldn’t have learned job costing without this internship. I was given real-time information that I was responsible for correctly entering on time. It made me take pride in my work as it would save my coworkers time and efficiency. I also learned time management in a fast-moving business setting.

How will this experience help you as you move forward in your career?

This experience will help me as I move forward in my career. I applied what I learned with communication, public speaking, and time management in my role. It also gave me insight into what I would be interested in doing for my future career. This real-world experience was vital to my growth, and I am very grateful for my time with Cianbro.

Any advice to share with other students considering an internship?

Say YES! Internships are an amazing way to figure out if that career is right for you. Plus, it doesn’t have to last forever. You make terrific connections and never know what could blossom from a past internship into a new career. Having a go-getter positive attitude is always desired in employers, so be open-minded, and who knows the opportunities that you may discover.

Why did you decide to study business at the Maine Business School?

I decided to study business at the Maine Business School because I liked the opportunities it provides and the people. I had heard about their Student Success Center, and when experiencing it for the first time, I knew they were devoted to their students’ growth. The community of students and the flexibility of the major are also enjoyable aspects. Business is essential to the world, so why not discover how it works and how you can make the world better.

Hometown: Monticello, Maine
Major: Accounting / Minor: Political Science
Year of Graduation: 2025
Internship Title: Finance Intern