Company and position. – DPR Construction, Project Executive
City you live in. – San Francisco
Years of experience. – 15
How did you get into the construction industry? – Going into college I was originally interested in Environmental Science and transferred into Civil Engineering thinking that I would pursue Environmental Engineering. But, as I learned more about the different disciplines within Civil Engineering, I became more interested in Construction & Project Management (CM). What attracted me to CM was the opportunity to not only work on technical problems, but also build interpersonal relationships and work with a team to build a project. As I learned more about it and had the opportunity to visit some jobsites, I realized I loved being in the field and got really excited about the process of taking ideas to drawings to a tangible result. I completed a summer internship as a Project Engineer with Shimmick Construction and then interned with DPR Construction the following summer. I was hooked and started full time with DPR after graduation. It’s so rewarding to be a part of projects that make a difference in people’s lives, whether it’s a light-rail line that is part of a redevelopment plan or a hospital that will serve the community.
Favorite thing about construction. – You learn something new every day. Every project is unique and although there might be similarities there is always something new that we come across which keeps things fresh and exciting. So much of our job is about problem solving and it’s fun to collaborate with different team members to figure things out.
Other affiliations or hobbies. – I co-founded and am on the steering committee for DPR’s NW Women Who Build group. Other hobbies are traveling, yoga and college football…Go Bears!
Is there someone who inspires you and why? The craft men and women in the field – they are the most integral part of construction projects and I have learned so much from those who I have worked with. They are true masters of their craft and are often the ones coming up with the best solutions on how to build certain details or make improvements on the jobsite. We need to focus on making sure they feel valued, their voices are heard and that they feel comfortable sharing their ideas.
A random thought you’d like to share. – I just read about Anna May Wong, who will be the first Asian American to appear on US currency as part of a program to feature trailblazing women on quarters. I had never heard of her before, but she is considered one of the first Chinese American movie stars during a time where there were very few opportunities for Asian Americans. Growing up I never thought too much about representation, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how important it is to see people who look like you represented in movies, in leadership roles, and in industries that haven’t traditionally had a lot of diversity. I’m glad that there are efforts to bring more awareness to this and thank you to WiOPS for highlighting various women in the construction industry!