What's it like to intern at MGAC? The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning student Kelly Reed kicks off a special series for Better Outcomes featuring the real life experiences of three CUA interns who joined MGAC in support of American Geophysical Union's groundbreaking net-zero headquarters renovation project.
Curious about what an owner's representative actually is, and what role they play in the design and construction process? MGAC's Greta Perry answers these questions and more in her latest for Better Outcomes.
MISSIONS MADE REAL
MGAC started in 1996 with three simple goals: to do interesting work that challenged us, to have fun working together, and to make money in the process. Since then we’ve worked hard to stay true to those goals, and make sure that everyone who joins the MGAC family does the same. Our success is rooted in hiring exceptional people who are driven to do exceptional work on once in a lifetime projects – with the integrity, creativity, and commitment that continues to separate us from our competitors.
We’re more than paper pushers sitting through a meeting. Our experts are on the ground driving process, facilitating difficult conversations, making hard calls, and building consensus around a shared vision. Our clients vision.
WHAT DRIVES US
A sense of ownership and personal engagement on behalf of our clients. What we do isn’t a nine-to-five job, and the success of every project is incredibly personal. We believe this kind of commitment can’t be taught – it’s inherent in people or not. That’s why we handpick the most committed, skilled, and experienced experts we can find, because we understand how much is at stake for our clients. We provide owner’s representation and support from project inception to final delivery – and everywhere in between – across a variety of markets and project types.
Program + Project Management
Every project is different and presents its own unique set of challenges. Our experts have seen it all, and channel that experience to partner with clients as strategic consultants to drive consistent project delivery, performance, and results. From gathering project requirements to building turnover, we proactively manage scope, budget, and schedule to protect our clients' interests and bring their vision to life.
Cost + Risk Management
Securing the maximum amount of information on cost at the earliest possible stage of project development is critical to effectively planning, managing, and controlling construction budgets. Our cost and risk services are structured to be imaginative, timely, and accurate, delivering independent information and recommendations clients can count on to make a measurable difference.
Building Technology Integration
From streamlined building operations to creating a high-performing work force, the seamless integration of technology systems delivers proven social, economic, and environmental value to all organizations. For us, iIt all starts with having a clearly identified mission and building the right team of subject matter experts to help clients navigate the possibilities and arrive at the right mix of solutions to satisfy their current and future technological needs.
When sourcing furniture, fixtures, and technology for an entire office or building, things can get overwhelming – and fast. Our procurement experts help clients relieve the pain that comes with purchasing through an integrated solution that consolidates the entire process into a single point of contact and accountability.
For our team of devoted relocation experts, success is demonstrated in the details. We understand that just because our clients' business is changing, it doesn’t mean it can stop, and our process is designed with this in mind. From coordinating around-the-clock relocations to stocking the books on their shelves – we’re there to make sure every last detail receives the attention it deserves.
Our specialized team of security experts have unsurpassed knowledge of the complexities associated with creating secure environments. From private luxury estates and foreign embassies to corporate campuses and remote satellite facilities, we deliver comprehensive security consulting to serve our clients' specific needs – helping assess security threats and develop strategies to eliminate them.
Integrity. Transparency. Commitment. They are at the core of everything we do – and what has continued to set us apart from our competitors over the past twenty years. Evolving from a shared sense of values to the MGAC Fundamentals, these beliefs shape our culture and guide our interactions with clients, partners, and each other. You’ll see them demonstrated in our words and actions from the board room to the soccer field, and everywhere in between. Because we believe that holding ourselves to the highest standard inspires our people to be their best – for themselves, their clients, and the community. We invite you to get to know MGAC.
MGAC was built around three simple concepts: have fun, do interesting work, and make money doing it. Since 1996, we’ve been doing just that – building a team of like-minded, devoted adventurers that bring our clients’ most challenging what ifs to life. Learn more about our Fundamentals to see what holding ourselves to a higher standard means to MGAC.
As project managers and owner’s advocates, we’re responsible for thousands of intricate details and decisions – each with the potential to make or break a budget, a deadline, a vision, or a dream. Add to that our true passion for learning and collaboration, and it’s easy to see how MGAC University got its start.
To us, it’s not enough to simply hire the best and brightest, we want to feed and nurture your mind, so you can keep achieving, growing personally and professionally, and aspiring to greater and greater things. At MGAC University, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in everything from on-site classes, speakers, research, and interactive experiences to special events, training, and professional certification courses.
Bring your big brain and your passion. We’ll handle the rest.
Drawing on the collective experience of our dierse staff, MGAC has helped clients further their missions for the past twenty years. Whether it's the installation of a priceless piece of art or the implementation of a nationwide network of data centers, we take on each project with an open mind, not a one-size-fits-all approach. And because we give every detail the attention it deserves, our clients have trusted us with their most challenging, career-making, once-in-a-lifetime projects.
After twenty years in their Brooklyn, OH campus, the owners of American Greetings Corporation decided it was time to find a new home for the 1,800 employees they consider family. The campus had served them well, but the company had changed and needed a space that could support their collaborative culture and creative process into the future. With that, the Weiss family began a once-in-a-lifetime project to build a new headquarters.
Father O'Connell Hall
Over its 100-year presence on The Catholic University of America campus, what’s now known as Father O’Connell Hall has lived many lives – from dining hall to event space, residence hall to a much loved student pub. Memorable for its iconic Gothic style, the building earned itself a reputation as a campus gateway and beloved symbol of student life. But despite its storied history, the building had fallen into disrepair, and in the early 2000s found itself half-vacant with partially finished and abandoned floors.
With more than 4,200 properties in 79 countries and territories, Marriott International was faced with the challenge of renovating and reopening a cherished, iconic property built in 1942. The original Art Deco building, which had played host to everything from weddings and quinceañeras to dances and grand parties, had been replaced with an uninspired concrete structure. The property itself needed to reflect its reputation as a financial high-performer, and the global hospitality company called on us to protect and oversee their substantial investment.
Secure Government Agency
When you’re the nation’s leading research agency, tackling complex projects is all in a day’s work – even when it comes to the planning, design, and construction of a new, build-to-suit headquarters. The combination of the agency’s strict security requirements, urban location, and desire for increased collaboration and innovation among employees resulted in a unique challenge, and a complex teaming and approvals structure.
Time Warner Cable
On-demand, streaming media forever changed the way the world connects with information and entertainment. Suddenly, cable customers across the U.S. wanted more than just 24/7 access to information and entertainment – they wanted their access to be faster and more reliable than ever before. To meet their customers’ rapidly evolving speed and reliability expectations, Time Warner Cable (TWC) leadership engaged MGAC to help develop a strategic infrastructure of critical facilities across the U.S.
The philanthropic work we do in our collective communities inspires and supports the work we do for our clients. And, like the work we do for our clients, our volunteer efforts challenge and reveal the very best in us.
We focus our energy and efforts on:
Because we believe that everyone deserves a roof over their heads and a safe place to sleep.
We believe in the enduring value of education and paying it forward to future generations.
They make life better, so we celebrate and promote them every day.
As influencers in the built environment, we believe the work of combatting climate change begins with us.
Real connections. Lasting impact.
Relationships are the foundation of our industry, and we believe in building ones that last. This commitment extends to our philanthropic efforts, where we strive to develop deep connections with organizations in need by finding meaningful, and ongoing ways to give back. When it comes to bringing these missions to life, we’re in it for the long haul.
WHAT IF YOU LOVED YOUR JOB?
You can. You should. It’s possible to work for a company that embraces your experiences, accomplishments, skills, and personality.
A place where you can work alongside smart, devoted people who help bring some of the world’s most ambitious, inspiring, and challenging visions to life.
Imagine having a role in managing projects as diverse and amazing as museums, hotels, universities, corporate headquarters, and art installations, to name just a few?
The kind of work that can start from the ground up, that’s tangible, real, and endures.
At MGAC, you’ll have to chance to dive in and learn things you never imagined, travel, build relationships with people from all walks of life, and build a career you love.
Are you in? Look at our current opportunities
The work we do requires all the skills, heart, expertise, and humanity we’ve got. That’s why taking time to replenish and stay healthy is so important to us.
Hardworking, smart, curious college and graduate students ready to immerse themselves in the world of project management with some of the industry’s brightest minds – and the most delightful people – are invited to apply for internships across our array of disciplines.
I have been working at MGAC full-time (More than 5 years)
Talented employees bring their A-game to challenging and complex projects. The variety of market sectors covered by their expertise is impressive. Good pay, generous bonuses, and unbeatable benefits. CEO has an open door policy. Opportunities to branch out are available to those who seek change. Professional development, entrepreneurship, and creativity are encouraged. Fun social events - happy hours, team-building events, project tours, company-wide parties. Strong philanthropic culture supports many community service initiatives. Recent hires at the management level seem designed to position the company for more growth.
With growth comes growing pains. Some people adapt to change better than others. It's a challenge to maintain an intimate, small-company feel as you expand. Multiple leadership changes in a short period of time was a bit unsettling, but things are smoothing out.
Advice to Management
Continue to work on corporate communications, so that the diverse and geographically-scattered workforce feels connected to the company and to each other.
I applied online. I interviewed at MGAC.
I applied from a listing online for an intern position. A few weeks later I received an email to schedule an interview which took place later that week. I was not in the area to interview so I did not have an in person interview. We discussed my resume, portfolio materials, qualifications, and what I wanted to get out of the internship.