The phrase “STEM career” is a vague term that actually represents an exciting array of jobs. For STEM month, we at Girl Scouts of Central Maryland would like to introduce you to several women who work in STEM fields. They will tell you in their own words why STEM careers are the best!
Title: Project Manager – Integrated Construction Engineer for James G. Davis Construction Corporation
Education History: Integrated Bachelor and Master of Architectural Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University
What do you do?
Smart, sincere, and admired by her team and clients alike, Natalie is responsible for overall project management and virtual construction implementation. As Project Manager at DAVIS, she maintains a proactive and collaborative relationship with each client, identifying and resolving any construction issues. Involved from preconstruction and mobilization through closeout, Natalie establishes project objectives and develops the schedule with the team, ensuring all project goals are met. As part of DAVIS’ Integrated Construction Group, Natalie works to ensure effective implementation of virtual construction techniques throughout a project’s lifecycle, creating request for information (RFI) responses that clearly illustrate construction challenges and solutions. Natalie also has the ability to develop 4D project schedules that optimize construction sequencing, create 3D models from contract documents, and manage integration of any models provided by subcontractors, architects, or project consultants.
How did you know that this is what you wanted to do?
Growing up Natalie got to watch her older brother, Nick Bryner, go through architecture school. She fell in love with the design process but dreamed of taking a more hands-on role on the construction side of the business. During high school, Natalie’s drafting teacher, Mr. Robert Cotton, took a group of students to visit Penn State’s Architectural Engineering (AE) Department, along with the Architectural Department. Because of that visit, she got to see how very different the two departments were and learned about the AE Construction Management option. Immediately after returning how she applied to Penn State, as she knew she found the right college and career path.
How did you end up in this field?
Natalie ended up in the construction field after numerous internships with an electrical contractor and a general contractor.
What is a typical day like at your job?
No two days are the same in the construction industry. Natalie’s “typical” day can be found in her Rockville headquarters where she is managing subcontractors to ensure work is installed on time and on budget. Natalie also reviews drawings, RFI, submittals, and pricing information on a daily basis. There are numerous days during the week where Natalie visits her jobsites to see how the contraction is progressing.
What is the best part of your job?
Working with people and being able to actually see the end result of all of your work right in front of you when the building is finished.
What is the most surprising thing that you have discovered about your field?
Every person I work with has a different personality and working with so many different people at once, those personalities can sometime clash. Therefore communication skills and people skills come in handy!
What did you have to learn in order to do what you do?
Natalie completed her Integrated Bachelor and Master Degrees in Architectural Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State).
What is one piece of advice you would give to girls about careers in STEM?
Never stop asking questions, there is always room for you to grow and learn from your experiences.
What is something girls should know about STEM?
There are many different types of STEM careers. Do your research and find something that interest you. Once found, use internships during college to determine if it’s the right career path.
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