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Award-winning business student lays groundwork for construction career

Sebastien Tapia was in his second semester at NMSU when he took a chance to ask for an internship at one of the largest general contracting companies in New Mexico.

A first-generation college student, Tapia was visiting his father at Jaynes Corporation’s Albuquerque headquarters during spring break 2018. Armed with his résumé, he walked into an office and spoke to the first person he encountered, who happened to be a project manager.

“Luckily, the project manager saw something in me and interviewed me on the spot,” he says. “I later received a call from him saying that they could use me for the summer.”

By the end of his three-month internship, Tapia improved seven construction processes for a millwork subcontractor. His work ethic impressed Jaynes Corporation so much that he was asked – and agreed – to continue his internship in Las Cruces while completing his bachelor’s degree in project and supply chain management from NMSU’s College of Business.

Tapia is now serving as the project engineer for a $13 million facility that will house a helicopter hub for the New Mexico Army National Guard.

He was recognized for his achievements last year when he was named the 2019 Construction Intern of the Year by HCSS, a construction software company, and won a $10,000 scholarship.

“I firmly believe everything happened the way it did for a reason,” says Tapia, who expects to graduate in 2021.