Ally is a civil engineer who is enthusiastic about advocating for women in STEM fields and educating her online community about construction!
I was good at math and problem solving, and I knew engineering could be a lucrative career option as well. I also watched a major highway get built as I drove by the project every day on the way to high school.
The most challenging aspect of my job is definitely facilitating getting things done between parties who are not always great at communicating or working together to solve an issue.
Part of the reason why I enjoy construction so much is because I love being outside. That is reflected in the hobbies I take part in! I do also love a challenge.
My best advice is find a good mentor. Also, it's okay to not know everything immediately, work on being able to say "let me get back to you on that." Which goes back to finding a mentor so you can ask questions and learn from someone you trust.
The not your average engineer tag is based on a couple different reasonings, the first being that I am a woman in a male dominated field. Another being that I believe that more engineers need to listen to and learn from tradespeople. The career paths go hand in hand, one cannot succeed without the other. I was tired of the "us versus them" mentality, and want to help change that.
The best part of my job is that I can point to sites that I have helped on and been able to say "I helped build that," even though I do not do the physical labor (and obviously respect those that do) I help facilitate the completion of that work through my expertise.
Project management still involves engineering, it is my responsibility to sign off on everything that goes on, on my sites. I need to know the ins and outs of our contract, what materials are specified and the nuances of the work that will be completed, including the inspections of this work. The most important skill in my opinion outside of technical knowledge is probably communication.
Becoming a parent reinforced the idea in me that we all deserve work life balance., and that we are so much more than our careers. It has also made me more efficient at everything I do, because my family is my priority and I want to get home to them. Thankfully, I work for a company that I feel truly understands that.
I would not change anything about my career to be honest. I started in structural design, and quickly changed to construction. As I said before I love being outside and getting to see things be built.