By Carla Short
2017-07-142017-07-14https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
IMSE Undergrad Class of 2016
John Moriarty & Associates of VA
What does the company do? John Moriarty & Associates is a construction management firm established in Winchester, Massachusetts that has now spread to five different locations along the East Coast. The Virginia office, located in Arlington, provides preconstruction services and general contracting to projects all over the DMV area. JMAV works closely with the Owner and design team during the preconstruction phase to ensure that the construction phase runs as smoothly as possible.
Current role: Project Engineer
How I got to my current role:
A day in life of Construction – It is hard to put the label of “a day in the life” on construction because every day you will face new problems that will require you to think differently. No two days are the same, and you will consistently have to put your engineering skills to the test to solve various problems that will occur. For example, for a couple months you may be in the office working on estimating an upcoming project; but when that project begins, you could be onsite full-time coordinating subcontractors and performing various field engineering work. This variety of work will require you to think in many different ways and perform many new tasks on a day to day basis. This career field can be challenging, but very rewarding to see the fruits of your labor. The following is a current estimate of what a day for me might look like, however, please keep in mind that I am currently working in the office on preconstruction, and someone working on an active project would have a very different schedule.
7:30AM – If I do not need to make any site visits, this is around the time I usually arrive at the office. We are currently waiting on pricing from various subcontractors to perform work on our project, so I will usually begin the day by checking my email to see if we have received any pricing/feedback.
8:00AM – Great! We received pricing back from the subcontractors that we requested. Let’s pretend that this was pricing for the “Elevator Work” on the job. Now, I would compare these prices and scopes between the different contractors to ensure that we were comparing “Apples to Apples,” and that everyone was on the same page.
9:30AM – Now that the evaluation is complete, we will invite the subcontractors to come into the office so that we can meet with them and understand their scope and requirements. These requirements are important because they must be coordinated carefully with the design team, so that all information can be shown properly on the drawings and specs. We’ll schedule this meeting for next week, and move on to other things for now.
9:45AM – Part of estimating, is performing “take-offs.” This is where we look at the drawings and calculate quantities of various materials that will be needed during the project. This information will then be communicated to the subcontractors of that trade to receive their pricing. At this time, I will begin working on an amenities takeoff of the building.
12:00PM – Around this time I take my lunch break. Some days we go out, but today is a busy day so I will eat quick and get back to work.
12:30PM – Today we have a scope meeting with a plumbing subcontractor, so I will take the next half hour or so to get my things together and prepare for the meeting.
1:00PM – This is when the meeting will begin. We will look through our scope which they have commented on and go back and forth until we agree on a scope that both parties are happy with. Now the subcontractor is ready to work on giving us their best and final price.
3:00PM – The plumbing contractors pointed out a few questions they have with the drawings. These questions must be communicated to the design team to ensure we know what the intent is. I will now put together a clear document with questions that we have on these issues.
4:00PM – The day is wrapping up. I will use this time to answer any emails I may have from the design team or subs, and make any necessary calls that I have to make.
5:00PM – Time to go home.
Why chose construction management? I chose construction management because it is a very challenging, yet rewarding career. This field lets you use your engineering skills to solve different problems every day. Also, I am not someone that would enjoy working alone, behind a computer screen all day. Construction management gives you a good balance of office work and field work. If you are the type of person who enjoys working in teams, and with other people, then this career field is something you should look into.
What’s the end goal? My end goal is to just learn as much as I can about the construction industry. Rather than focus on an end goal for job titles and roles, I strive to learn something new each day, knowing that once I am capable and have the right skills, the promotions will come. An end goal for someone in my current position could be Project Executive which oversees multiple projects, or potentially Regional Manager (overseeing an entire office).
Most surprising thing that I didn’t expect coming out of college – I would use information from all of my classes in college in one way or another. In college, I constantly took classes where I would hear the same thing – “When will I ever use this again?” For some people, this may be the case. For me, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Each class taught me skills, whether conceptual knowledge or concrete, that I have used in my career. My advice for this would be: Don’t put limits on your learning in college when you don’t have to. Soak up as much information as you can in all of your classes because you never know when you may have to use it.
Least favorite thing about construction – I really can’t say I have a “least favorite thing” yet. I am lucky to have a great company helping me make the difficult transition from college to work, and it has made my time so far very enjoyable.
My 2 cents – My best advice is to focus on learning something new each day. Small steps each day will lead you to making great strides in your career. Invest in yourself by building the knowledge of your career field and everything else will come. I understand this was a very brief introduction to the construction industry, and if this is something you want to learn more about, then feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and I would be happy to talk to you further about this field.