What did you do before your time at EDA?
Well, that is a loaded question… I’ve worked at EDA for as long as I can remember. Aside from maybe a summer or two working down the shore, since I was 14, I have essentially only worked at EDA. From counting screws (thanks Ryan) to driving, to even fabricating panels… I have done quite a lot. I am the quintessential jack of all trades, master of none.
What brought you to the construction industry?
This is another funny question, as I was essentially born into it. It took me a while to develop a passion for what we do here, but since I was young it has always been in my blood. When I went to college, I swore to myself that I would never formally work at EDA, rather, I would become the next Jordan Belfort and be on Wall Street. After three finance classes, I immediately reverted to the plan of working at EDA. After interning as an Assistant Project Manager during my final year at Temple, I began to enjoy & truly grasp the work that we do here, which helped me when I eventually entered the Carpenter’s Union.
Can you briefly explain what you do at EDA?
I am currently an Assistant Project Manager. My daily tasks include ordering materials for various projects, attending site meetings, creating change orders, material takeoffs, and creating project schedules, just to name a few.
What are some things that most people don't know about you?
I am a massive fan of hardcore music/concerts, and it’s really the only genre of music that piques my interest. I also love Karaoke – but only if I don’t know a lot of people who are there, otherwise I’ll just have a panic attack.
If you weren’t in the construction industry, where would you be today?
That’s honestly a great question… I truly don’t know. One of the downsides of being born into this industry is I never gave myself a chance to explore other areas of interest. I absolutely love music and would maybe have gone into that area of work. Managing bands, booking agent, or maybe even heading a record label. Truthfully, it would probably be related to music or soccer.
If you could work in any other trade or department here at EDA, where would you be?
I’d be in Estimating. I absolutely love numbers, and as I’ve begun to gain a better understanding of drawings, specifications, and scopes of work, I find myself enjoying doing takeoffs & figuring out ways to maximize profits/revenues. I also really like the customer relationship side of estimating that may often be taken for granted. It’s much more than just putting numbers into a spreadsheet and hitting send. There’s a lot of relationship building and networking that I feel fits my personality type.
What is the biggest challenge you've faced in work? How did you overcome it?
After working in the field for almost four years, the office presented a massive change to the way I was used to operating. I am naturally very hyper critical of myself and set expectations of my own performance very high. I had some tough times in the beginning where I felt that I wasn’t where I wanted to be in terms of my performance. Gradually, I have become better at being realistic about what is truly expected of me and getting feedback from my peers, especially people I have worked with in the field. That has helped ease that burden. My best advice is to be confident in what you know and continue to sharpen that knowledge, but never hesitate to ask for help on the things you don’t.
What has been the best part about your experience working with EDA?
It’s cliché and maybe overstated at this point but the family-like atmosphere. I’ve been around EDA forever so my words may not mean as much as everyone else, but there is something very different here. Work feels less like a chore when every day you’re surrounded by a team that cares about you. There’s no competition and it feels like everyone wants to uplift each other. You know something is special when people who have never even worked here speak highly of the work environment.
What is your favorite EDA value, and why?
Exceed Expectations. I was stuck between this and Strive to Improve but I feel that exceeding expectations is an important value to focus on for growth. Sometimes we, especially I, try and meet the expectations set forth, but become averse to taking that next step. Going out of your comfort zone is critical to growing as an employee and I’ve found that even just trying to do tasks you’ve never done before pays more dividends than not attempting at all. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”