West Fargo High School Teacher Inspires Construction Management Major

Laine White a construction trades teacher at West Fargo High School, encourages his students to explore the construction field, specifically the program MSUM offers.

“A four-year degree in construction management goes in-depth which is beneficial for students," Laine said.

Laine earned a degree in special education from MSUM in 2012 and later returned to obtain his master's degree. He thoroughly enjoyed his time at MSUM and believes his students will too.

Laine enjoys teaching construction trades courses because he likes to watch students develop their skills. Knowledge of the construction trades is useful for all students, not just those interested in pursuing a related career.

Laine's high school classes are a good introduction to the construction field, and often spark his students’ interest in construction. As a result, many students have attended MSUM for construction management. Each one leaves the program well equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for their future careers. He adds that it's a growing field and there are many good-paying job opportunities.

"My students report positive things about MSUM's construction management program. They say they are well-prepared for work after college," Laine said.

One of those former students is MSUM senior Jeddie Nyei, who will graduate with his construction management degree in May.

"Mr. White recommended I go through this program at MSUM," says Jeddie. "I like the small class sizes and the collaboration I get to do with my classmates."

Construction management students learn a variety of valuable skills, including networking, business development, project estimation, budget building, building methods and more.

"This is an interesting major where there is always something new to learn," says Jeddie.

Last summer, Jeddie interned for a commercial general contractor, Gardner Builders, which specializes in tenant improvement in Minneapolis. There he had the opportunity to shadow different people, go out in the field, and help with projects around the office. He gained valuable experience and utilized the skills he learned in the classroom at MSUM.

"Every day was different; no two days were ever the same, and I enjoyed that," he said.

Jeddie said the program's required internship is extremely beneficial because it allowed him to gain a deeper understanding of the construction management field. He appreciated getting an introduction to what his future career will be like and gaining countless networking opportunities.

After graduating, Jeddie will have multiple job opportunities available to him and is hoping to start as a field engineer. He wants to focus on the commercial side of construction management because he enjoys the business side of the industry.

(MSUM has strong transfer agreements with 11 technical and community colleges. See if your school has a Construction Management Transfer Agreement.)

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