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Why I chose a career in the construction industry:
I had the opportunity to do a summer internship for a civil engineering, land planning, & surveying company while studying mechanical and electrical engineering at Norwich University, and I fell in love with “dirt.” There is great satisfaction and pride in bringing to fruition something that was initially an idea, a drawing or a blueprint. Whether it’s a bridge, a hotel, a restaurant, a hospital, a high-rise, an athletic facility, an industrial building, a dormitory, someone’s dream home, etc., you’ve been a part of a dream bigger than yourself.
What training or education did you need for your current role?
My background in civil engineering and surveying created the foundation for my career. But it is my 37 years in the industry that has enabled me to be expert in some areas, while at the same time giving me the opportunity to learn something new every day.
What is a typical day like in your position?
A typical day? Every day on a project is an evolution from the day before. It doesn’t get much better than that.
What do you enjoy most about your career? I get to work with an extremely talented and dedicated team in a fast-paced environment, working toward mutual goals, all the while sharing the same vision and mission.
What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
In looking back at my career, I have been fortunate to be an integral part of a plethora of interesting projects such as: Camden Yards, Jack Kent Cook Stadium (now FedEx Field) and the Raven’s Stadium (now M&T Bank Stadium), two subway stations under Washington, D.C., The Super Pond and Firing Barricades on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Alta Surveys around our Nation’s Capital, projects on Fort Meade, Andrews Air Force Base, and Pax River Naval Base, and surveying thousands of acres of historical farmland, in Maryland, that satisfied the history buff in me.
What advice do you have for women who want to work in the construction industry?
If you are considering a career in the construction industry, the imperative first step is to find a company that is the right fit for you. Here are a few questions to ponder: Do your work ethics and visions match those of the company? Is the company inclusive and diverse, respectful of your contributions? Do they encourage professional growth and development?
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
To achieve your personal and professional goals, take advantage of apprenticeship/internship programs, be confident and assertive and avail yourself of every opportunity for continuing education. And remember, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance, that is how you will learn and grow. Bringing uniqueness to your company is a team effort. No one person builds a building; it is a function of the collective’s talent, skills and personality styles.