What is it like to be a project engineer? What type of work do you do?
I work for BOND’s Civil & Utility division, based out of the New Haven, Connecticut office. We do a lot of utility upgrades and electrical substation work. A typical day for me is assisting the superintendents, coordinating the crews and tracking daily activity on the jobsite. It’s not a normal office job. Some days I’m interfacing with the project teams or coordinating deliveries. I’m outside a lot which I really enjoy. However, there are times I’m doing work such as QA/QC and planning the schedule for the next day. You have to be able to multi-task , be quick on your feet and flexible in adapting your time for what’s needed on the project.
Why did you choose construction management as your chosen career path?
I’ve always been drawn to construction, whether it’s residential, commercial buildings or road construction. Growing up I excelled at math and was always building things such as Legos and woodworking projects. I considered pursuing architecture, but ultimately decided upon construction. I like being able to see first-hand how a project comes together. This prompted me to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Hartford Connecticut.
What mentors or mentoring opportunities have made the greatest impact on your career path?
My first mentor was my soccer coach in high school. At the time there were not many women pursuing degrees in civil engineering. He pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and reminded me that I could do anything. When I was in college, I had a lot of professors who urged me to keep going, even though the program was challenging. At the time, there were only five women in my civil engineering graduating class, but we had a lot of support. I’d say most of my mentors have been men, and being a woman in this industry hasn’t really held me back.
FUN FACT: If Alison could build her dream vacation house anywhere in the world it would be in Bermuda. Why? “I’m drawn to anything warm and near the water, but the pink beaches and turquoise waters of Bermuda are particularly special.”