Solving Puzzles is a Team Effort

I pursued a degree in Construction Management because I liked to solve problems and viewed building construction as a puzzle on a grand scale. I was fascinated with the process of hundreds of people working as a team, fitting together hundreds of thousands of pieces of a wide array of materials to form a unique structure. I was particularly drawn to the sequencing and scheduling of all the events required to fit all the pieces together.

My construction management coursework reinforced the skills I was using in the field; a blend of leadership, management, and technical knowledge. The leadership courses helped me to guide and motivate the diverse teams I worked with while the management courses taught me how to control schedules and budgets for my team to effectively perform their work. The technical courses provided me with a basis for understanding the trades I was working with. In some cases, these technical courses taught me a vocabulary to converse with trades. Other courses helped me understand how the materials I was working with reacted to each other and to the environment they were placed.

My technical knowledge paled in comparison to the trades people and to the technical experts; architects and engineers. Yet, armed with a technical vocabulary and a firm grasp of the fundamentals, I could act as a liaison between the builders and designers and facilitate what I enjoyed the most about construction management; solving the many puzzles that are constantly present on a construction site. I have come to learn that while I enjoy problem solving I enjoy working with a team to solve problems even more so. Having a broad understanding of the people and materials used in construction has enabled me to guide these teams to solve many puzzles during my career.