Sladden Engineering, Beaumont, CA
This summer I served as a finance intern for Sladden Engineering. Sladden is a geotechnical engineering firm that specializes in soils engineering and geotechnical testing mainly in the Los Angeles and Palm Springs areas. My focus was learning about the bidding process in corporate real estate development as well as residential real estate development projects. I learned about everything that this encompasses, including deliverables and receivables, invoice processing and more.
Throughout the summer I was assigned various independent projects as well. One of my first tasks was creating a system in which the company would be able to access and succinctly view all geographic locations of past projects, in order to compare percolation reports and seismic test results for similar areas. The final result was a cumulative Google Earth map with all of the projects organized by year. I was also put in charge of inputting data and field reports for a new Walt Disney residential development project in Palm Springs. Most of my tasks required time spent working in Excel and formatting data in order to optimize usability. My exposure to the new Walt Disney project became even greater when I was told to creatively produce a video showing the geotechnical processes currently happening at the site. I spent a few days on the site where Disney’s new residential development and lagoon resort called Cotino is being built. I filmed the work that was being done and edited and produced a video that was sent to clients who are building a couple of new beach resorts in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Throughout my internship with Sladden, I found that I really enjoyed learning about the financial processes of the company. The president of the company, Brett Anderson, even went over the quarterly accounting records with me and showed me the breakdown. I found it really interesting, especially looking at the effect on expenses that a recent rise in inflation has had. I found myself pulling from my previous knowledge gained from my two economics classes this year to understand the impact that residential real estate has on the economy as a whole. We even talked about the effect of the 2008 housing crisis and how Sladden ended up diversifying their project scope after taking a hit.
My greatest takeaway from this experience was that I do in fact take interest in finance, as well as in company strategy. I’m so appreciative of the experience I was able to have learning not just about finance but its application in real estate and development projects, as well as how interwoven it is with the greater economy. The ASIP program allowed me to pursue something that piqued my interest, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities I was given and the doors that have opened for me. I’m eager to take more classes that will stimulate this confirmed interest of mine and hope to continue my exploration of finance in the years to come.