The Diversity of a Career in Construction or Project Management
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My name is Michael Chadukiewicz and starting today I will be blogging about my construction and project management experiences. I have a construction and telecommunications background and building a datacenter from the ground up is my idea of the ultimate project. I also consider myself an expert in school construction and have a fair amount of experience managing commercial kitchen construction. My most recent projects have been managing the interior fit-out of several technical high schools.
My career in project management has exposed me to a wide range of experiences and has provided me an opportunity to develop my diverse technical, managerial, and leadership abilities. I worked for the same firm for over 25 years, yet each day was a unique experience. The definition of a project is a temporary series of activities that produces a unique product or service, so naturally each project offers its participants different sets of activities and challenges from project to project. Even when I managed the construction of a chain of ice cream stores, which all followed the same basic blueprint, my day was varied and at times unusual. Site conditions, labor crews, weather, local codes, and availability of materials made these seemingly identical projects as varied as the Kardashian’s exploits. The temporary nature of projects, the fact that each project has a defined beginning and end, meant I was constantly completing a project then moving on to the next one.
When I started out in construction management, my first employer hired me for my technical abilities to assist with monitoring the quality of the construction of a public library. Having had several jobs in the trades I understood construction materials and was familiar with how the various trades worked together to form a finished product. My local university offered courses in construction management and I enrolled to increase my technical knowledge of surveying, structural design, and materials analysis. In addition to the technical classes, I began to learn more about construction management; controlling costs and scheduling. These courses also had a technical aspect; I had to learn all the components of a plumbing or electrical system in order to estimate their cost. Likewise, with scheduling in addition to learning the ins and outs of a CPM or PERT diagram I had to become familiar with the various machinery and methods employed to increase production when digging a foundation or erecting a masonry wall.
I discovered I had an inherent aptitude for both the technical and the managerial skills required to be a proficient construction manager. Yet, at the end of the day, projects are not successfully completed relying on technology or processes alone; they are completed by men and women working as a team to create something that was never been created before. My construction management schooling provided me with the knowledge of the communication tools and leadership styles required to guide these men and women through the construction process. Over the years, I have been able to apply this knowledge and develop my leadership abilities. Developing all these skills has contributed to the success of many projects over the years.
A career in project and construction management offers individuals a diverse environment and lifestyle; each day is varied and in some way unique. Additionally, the field personally challenges participants in a variety of ways, continuously requiring them to develop their technical, managerial, and leadership abilities. Whether you are interested in starting a career in construction or project management or are a seasoned professional, a college degree will provide you with the knowledge required to launch and propel your career.