An Above Par Experience: Q&A with Landon Carner
At Gray, we believe meaningful engagement is built upon a foundation of connection, purpose, and communication. Our Gray internship program empowers and equips our interns to build relationships that last a lifetime. Team member mentors spend one-on-one, purposeful time with interns, teaching the “Gray Way” of doing business and providing real-world knowledge and training for their future careers.
There are many interns who become full-time team members after completing their internship, and we talked with Landon Carner, Project Engineer, Gray Southeast, about his transition from Gray intern to full-time team member.
Tell me what led you to an internship at Gray?
So it actually came about because my dad was hired by Gray earlier this year. When we saw internships were available, I quickly applied. I knew this window of opportunity was small as I was finishing up my MBA at Western Kentucky University. I thought Gray would be a great place to intern and learn more about the construction industry.
What was your favorite part of your internship at Gray?
My favorite part of my internship was being able to join such an immense job from the beginning—I was unaware of what it takes to get a job of that magnitude started. I was very fortunate to be a part of the Qcells project, and then I was hired full-time on that project. So far, being a part of the Gray family has been amazing. Gray has one of the best internships out there, because you get to immerse yourself in learning all summer and soak up all this knowledge. Everyone is so helpful, answers questions, and really shows you the ropes. It’s truly an amazing and unforgettable experience.
What made you want to continue at Gray full-time after your internship?
My overall experience was great—not only did I enjoy the construction part of my job, but I loved being a part of the Gray family. I loved the people I got to work with, and as someone who was a college athlete, I know how working with a team can make you feel more comfortable. I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to continue to be a part of a team that supports and uplifts one another.
What do you enjoy most about working at Gray?
I enjoy high-performance environments. I believe I perform my best when there are aggressive deadlines or lofty goals. I think that goes back to being a collegiate athlete and having to be able to succeed in high-pressure environments. When I’m at my best, I am problem solving and working with my team, which is what I love most about my job.
What is it like working on the same jobsite as your dad?
It’s kind of surreal. We’re not really integrated in day-to-day tasks, but we live in the same house, which is really neat. When I was a college golfer, I was always traveling—it’s really cool that now we get to spend some time together. I still get the space to be my own person, but to have the support of my dad is really comforting.
What’s been your most memorable experience since joining Gray?
My most memorable experience was a recent golf tournament fundraiser for the local Boys and Girls Club. It was a great time to connect with Gray team members and support a great cause. A bonus was that the team I was a part of had the lowest score of the fundraiser.
What do you think sets Gray apart from other service providers in the industry?
I think what sets Gray apart from other competitors in our industry are the Core Values and the family environment that exists here. I think everyone at Gray does a fantastic job at practicing what they preach, and it makes people feel like everyone is united—one cohesive team.
What are you most looking forward to accomplishing in your future career at Gray?
I would say my biggest aspiration is to make a name for myself within Gray and among our trade partners. I want team members and trade partners to recognize my name and associate it with someone who is dependable, trustworthy, and treats everyone with respect. I think if I follow that blueprint, I will have a successful career here at Gray.
If someone was visiting your hometown, what activities should they do?
If someone visited Birmingham, AL, I’d tell them to play the local golf courses. They’re a hidden gem in the South—people don’t realize how many great public and private courses there are in this area. Another activity I’d recommend is Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham. There are tons of great restaurants and things to do—it’s also a great place to take scenic photos.