From Intern to IT Manager
By: Fara Foster, Director of Communications & Community Engagement
Internships have become increasingly valuable to our family of companies. What initially started as a program geared to introduce the asphalt and aggregates industries to rising college students and help those students get a start on their careers, has become an integral part of our hiring program. A number of our interns have continued on past their initial internships in part-time roles. Others have joined us in full-time, permanent roles upon graduation. One is now a departmental manager; another a vice president.
David Middleton was a-typical in that he had already earned a BA in history and had been working for several years before deciding a career change was in order. While completing his BBA in Business and Technology, he pursued internships with several companies. After accepting an internship offered by FedEx, he received a call from Lehman-Roberts three days later. “An internship with FedEx is a great opportunity,” David commented. “Ultimately, I chose Lehman-Roberts to have greater exposure to the various areas of IT over the focused duties FedEx offered.”
When he completed his degree nine months later, he left for a permanent position at Vanderbilt University. While there was no need for additional full-time personnel on the Lehman-Roberts IT team at that time, David had made a lasting impression. Just two years later, he was asked to rejoin the team, this time as IT Manager.
David’s commitment to making sure every department has the needed technological tools keeps him busy and wins him favor among his peers. His experience, skills and attitude could have led him to positions with larger firms. Yet, he chose to bring those characteristics back to where he interned. “This is a culture-driven organization,” he said. “Returning to Memphis and Lehman-Roberts was an easy decision. I already knew them and their dedication to focusing on people first. I felt like I could make more of a contribution here, not just in my job but in all aspects of the company.”
David’s contributions range from day-to-day challenges to researching and implementing cutting-edge technology. Because he knows every facet of our operation, he is often included on teams that interview candidates for upper level positions.
David is known throughout the company for his willingness to help any time, often sacrificing on his personal time when a co-worker has a need. He is also known for giving credit to the highly skilled team he works alongside. When asked why he enjoys working here, his answer echoes many others. “I enjoy working with everyone here. I get to work with almost everyone directly, from bottom to top. We have limited barriers because we’re really just one team.”