One of the most rewarding aspects of Scott Parker's job is mentoring
graduates as they follow the same path to success he followed into the
Parker, who is a vice president at Elkins Constructors Inc. in Jacksonville,
manages the life care market for the company. He oversees construction of senior
living campuses, continuing care retirement centers, and medical office
buildings. But Parker is clear about one thing: relationships and customer
satisfaction come first. "I will always pay more attention to relationships
because people come first in our business."
Since starting at Elkins Constructors in 1989, Parker has held a series of
positions with progressively more responsibilities. One of his responsibilities
he particularly enjoys is developing new employees into strong construction
professionals. Every year, Elkins employs as many as 10 UNF students, allowing
them to experience firsthand the construction management process.
"UNF believes in cooperating with the industry and encourages students to
participate in internships, allowing them to get real-world experience. When I
was at UNF and working as an intern, I was able to take what I was learning in
the classroom and see how it was applied in the field. It really helped me to
excel in what I was learning and allowed me to become more valuable to my
When hiring new employees, Parker said he notices the difference between UNF
building construction management students and graduates from other universities.
"UNF students have much more experience and that's important to us. We are very
careful about who we hire because we are looking for people for the long
Many UNF interns are hired to become full-time members of the employee-owned
company. As many as 20 UNF graduates may be working for Elkins Constructors at
any particular time.
"I enjoy developing interns and hiring them fulltime after graduation. They
eventually work up the ranks and turn their college experience into strong
While attending UNF, Parker met his future wife, Dawn, who is also a UNF
alumnus. They married five days after Parker graduated. The couple has two
daughters and a son. They love tennis, swimming and spending time at the
When Parker looks back on his UNF experience, he said he most remembers the
emphasis on perfection by such faculty members as John Hutchinson. "Whenever we
turned in a proposal or report, it had to be perfect. By the time I graduated he
really instilled in me the necessity of paying attention to details. I remember
that to this day every time I send a proposal out the door."
Parker has maintained his contacts with UNF. In addition to helping establish
the internship program, he served on the Building Construction Management
Advisory Committee and is currently serving on the Dean's Advisory Council for
the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction. He is also a member of
the Urban Land Institute, the Assisted Living Federation of America and the
National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.
Since becoming part of the management team at Elkins, Parker said he has
become more aware of the important role UNF serves in providing a highly trained
workforce. "Companies from all over the country are recruiting UNF graduates.
UNF is becoming known as one of the top construction schools in the nation.
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