Anthony Puhl is about to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in construction management and soon start a full-time job in the field, thanks in part to Howard Community College.
Puhl, an Ellicott City native, enrolled at HCC to pursue his Associate of Applied Science degree. That’s where he met Gazan Bozai, associate professor of construction management. Throughout the year, Bozai brings leaders of large construction companies onto campus to meet with students and share tips on securing internships and jobs.
During one of the sessions, Puhl met staff from Whiting-Turner, a nationwide construction management, general contracting and design firm.
“They were looking for interns,” Puhl recalled. “I wasn't even looking for internships at that point since I was just starting out and trying to focus on my classes.”
Puhl, who has Crohn’s Disease, was also focused on his health.
Still, the positive interaction stayed with him. After earning his degree at HCC, Puhl transferred to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s construction management program (run through The Universities at Shady Grove). Then, he applied for – and got – an internship with Whiting-Turner.
Puhl has a 4.0 GPA and will graduate this spring. In the fall, he will start a full-time job with Whiting-Turner as a field engineer.
Puhl credits HCC for providing a foundation for his success.
“Even if you have a disability like I do, HCC will be there to help you,” he said. “The school worked with me to put a plan in place in case my health started to deteriorate. I never had to use it, but it was there as a backup plan if I ever needed it.”
Instructors like Bozai also had a tremendous impact, Puhl said. The two keep in touch and often discuss ways to enhance HCC’s construction management program.
“If it wasn’t for Dr. Bozai, I would never have landed that internship,” Puhl said. “He went beyond and really did more than any professor would. I can't thank him enough for that.”
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