What made you join the construction industry?

  • 8 December 2021
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Hi folks! I am sure we all have different stories and paths that have led us to where we are now in our careers within construction. I’m curious - what led you to working in the construction industry? 

 

I’ll start! I studied business but always had a love for construction/real estate development. My first gig out of college was in facilities mgmt which I knew I did not want to be in long term. But, it was a good stepping stone and led me to working as an APM in ground up construction where I got amazing experience and learned A TON. I always had my eye on construction tech firms/start ups (like OpenSpace) and finally made the jump. It’s been a blast and cannot wait to see where con tech goes from here. 


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@clairealdridge this is a great question and I liked hearing how you got into the “BIZ”. I was introduced to construction at a young age. My father helped a buddy start a sheet metal company when I was younger so I spent many weekends either trying to make money to pay back my parents, make my own money, or as punishment. Once I was in college I had a summer job for a commercial roofing company which is when I got my first “real” job in the industry. After graduating college with a degree in construction management I moved to Dallas to work for a GC making my way up to Assistant Superintendent. While climbing the ranks I was always trying to find better more effacement ways to work and help our teams which is how I got into the tech side. 

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As a little plug for our Pathfinders, if anyone wants to learn more about @Cwahl’s story beyond the quick summary he posted, check out our Pathfinder Spotlight on him! We love learning about all your personal and professional journeys :clap:

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My path actually started by chance. I was in college studying civil engineering when I was paired up for an internship at random at a construction company through a school program. Not knowing what to expect, I gave it a shot. A summer internship turned into a part time internship throughout the school year. 15 years later, still loving the construction industry.

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My story goes all the way back to my childhood in the Philippines :flag_ph:  I grew up surrounded by poverty and homelessness and I was especially impacted by that. I remember my 7-year-old self thinking, “It’s so easy to fix this problem! We just need to build more housing!”

Of course it wasn’t THAT simple :sweat_smile: But that sentiment stuck with me as my family moved to the US and I continued my education here. When I studied construction for undergrad and grad school, my research focus was on construction for good -- let’s build to make the world a better place! 

I’d say that this background also led me to my current role with OpenSpace: Building Community through Construction :relaxed:

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@Cwahl @dcueva @nikiya Amazing stories - thanks for sharing. So cool to hear the different paths we have all taken to lead us to where we are now.  

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For me getting into construction I always helped my grandfather out with odd jobs that he would do. The  thing that sealed the deal though was on career day in 10th grade and the vocational Ed teacher for electrical made a Jacob’s ladder that he had set up for a display. I saw that and thought it was cool. Of course his pitch was that if I signed up he would be able to teach me. So of course I signed up and the rest is history. 

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@Gtinsley pretty awesome you found your calling at such a young age!

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@dcueva very similarly I went to college in NYC for civil engineering and got a lot of advice from people that were in the industry that it was a good idea to get some experience in the field actually working on jobsites before sitting in an office designing them.  Fast forward almost 8 years later and I forgot the part where I was supposed to go back to an office and do engineering.  Every day onsite is always an adventure and I always feel connected to my engineering background troubleshooting problems as they come up and haven’t left yet! 

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@clairealdridge I worked for a unique construction firm that had a great business model of performing commercial site construction and residential construction. This job I had in high school gave me a broad construction exposure which helped me decide to pursue a degree in Construction Management. I also had an early technical exposure in AutoCAD and Revit in high school which further propelled me to pursue a Construction Management degree that incorporates a minor in business and sustainability. Today, my degree has help me so much as I use still techniques from High School and College to design/develop shop drawings, as-builts, coordination drawings and create simplified BIM models for our team’s field workers. OpenSpace BIM spilt view is a great tool that has helped assist visualizing my work.

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thanks for sharing @Gerard & @KevLyons!

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