How long have you been with Colliers Engineering & Design and tell me about what you do?
I have been with Colliers Engineering & Design, formerly Maser Consulting, since 2016. I am the Geographic Discipline Leader for the Survey Department located in Miami, FL. I manage the South Florida office, but also consider myself a project manager as I manage my own projects, with most of them being high-rise construction projects. I also do Department of Transportation (DOT) work.
What attracted you to the A/E industry? What led you to become a Geographic Discipline Leader?
I am an architect, and when I came to this country, I started working in surveying and liked it. I have been performing survey work since 1997 and working on construction projects that are related to design. I found the survey work similar to my architectural background, and because I’m a numbers person who enjoys calculations, the transition was smooth. I am more than a management person; I love to be involved in different projects as well. While working closely and assisting on the day-to-day operations and projects with my predecessor, the opportunity presented itself for me to move into the Geographic Discipline Leader role in Miami.
What types of projects do you typically work on?
I typically work on construction projects. I was previously involved in the One Thousand Museum Miami and All Aboard Florida project. I am currently working on the Sole Mia Development Complex, Aston Martin Miami Residences building in Brickell, and a few multi-use projects. I am also excited about my work on the 100-floor Waldorf Astoria building on Biscayne Boulevard.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
My favorite thing about my job is doing boundary surveys. I calculate the boundary lines based on the recovery we find in the field and record the history of the property.
What project or piece of work are you most proud of at CED thus far?
I am going to be very proud when we finish the Aston Martin building, a project I’ve been a part of since the beginning. I will also be proud when we finish the Waldorf Astoria project as that is going to be an interesting building and it will be a challenge for all of us. I feel a profound sense of pride when I am with my children and drive by and point out to them the buildings and projects that I have worked on throughout South Florida.
What motivates/inspires you to come to work every day?
We have a wonderful thing here in Miami, we are like a family. I enjoy getting together with everyone and eating lunch. That’s the best part.
What is the next accomplishment/goal you’re trying to achieve?
As I mentioned before, my next large goal is the completion of the Waldorf Astoria building. It is going to be an interesting building and project.
What challenges have you had to overcome as a woman in the A/E industry?
Managing my team, which is mostly men, can be a challenge. For me, as a woman, being in charge and managing their work can be tough at times. I am doing fine, though!
What are the advantages of being a woman in the A/E industry?
I do not think there is any specific advantage of being a woman in the A/E industry. We are all equals!
Over the duration of your career, have you noticed any changes or evolution in how women are perceived in the A/E industry?
I have noticed that women are getting more power every day, and I think women are more involved in this profession. I think it’s part of society. There is equal opportunity for all. We can all do the same things. Every day can be a challenge, but I think women are proving that they can be equally treated and do the same type of work as men.
What female role models have inspired you along the way?
My mother! She is strong. She taught me that I must do the right thing, and that I need to be capable of doing everything by myself. She always told me to try to do it myself first before asking for help.
What advice would you give to any young female looking to enter the A/E industry?
They need to study! They need to always be prepared, not be afraid of any circumstances, and they need to try. I tell my daughter every day, “you need to study and then you need to follow your dreams.” Go out to the world and say, “I’m here, I need an opportunity. Give me an opportunity and I will prove to you that I can do it.” Some things must not be done by email, you need to put your face out there, and you need to go for it. Do not be afraid, be prepared, and take the opportunity, and the opportunity will come. You just need to be prepared!
What is one thing that you’d like people to know about you?
I want people to realize that I’m human, just like you. I try to understand and accept everyone. I want others to think of me not as the person that is in charge, but as a fellow human being. I am here to help everyone.
Interviewed by Tamara Burk, Licensing Specialist, Risk Management