Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why Construction Management?

*picture from tomboytools.com

When people find out what I got my degree in the universal reaction is "what in the world got you into that..."
Well, I will try to answer that here.

I am the oldest child in my family. As such I was the first one big enough to "assist" my dad with projects (although, I truly don't know how much use I was for a long time). But beyond that, my little brothers didn't show interest in these things till they were teenagers, so...I kind of was the most knowledgeable of the kids in this area by default.

Before I go on I need to introduce a little bit about my dad. He has the most tools of anyone I have ever met in my life. I like to say he has a whole extra house just to store them and I am only half joking. Woodworking, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, welding, tiling, roofing, you name it he has the whole range of specialty tools (although some times you have trouble finding them in the mess). I can't tell you how cool this is...one day I'll have a collection like this too.

Another thing about my dad, he is a mechanical genius. You need something to do something...oh wait, nothing like that exists?...no worries, dad can invent it. You need to do something on the house? What, you've never been trained how to do that? No worries, that's why they have books at the library for, or that's what the PBS shows on Saturday morning are for, or that's what your brain is for...and he does them. Does he do stuff unconventionally sometimes...oh yeah. Case in point: he hates it when you have wobbly or unsturdy railings. So when he was redoing the house I grew up in, when he took out the old wrought iron railing and put in a new oak one, he stabilized the post by putting it through the sub-flooring and bolted it to the floor joists. I don't think the current owners of that house realize what a sturdy piece of work that is (ha ha, unless they try to replace it, oh it makes me laugh, just the visual of them trying to get it out, ha ha).

Oh, but I'm off on a tangent...why I am in construction management. Well, I started college in the Electrical Engineering program at BYU. I had gotten through the first year and a half, the difficult classed they use to weed people out, but then realized I did not want to spend my professional life in a lab. So I started looking at my options. I went looking through the class descriptions, figuring I could find a major that I was interested in by finding classes that I liked. Classes that caught my eye and that I wanted to take: architectural drafting, concrete processes and finishes, framing, electrical, furniture design, interior design. Well, all but the last two were in this major called construction management (yeah, I had never heard of it). So I looked into it more. I found out that the major included an almost equal mix of business management and construction processes classes. And then I made the switch. I did end up taking the interior design class even though it didn't fit into the major :).

And I love it. I still think that it was the perfect program for me, even though the industry is slow right now and I'm having trouble getting a job (if I were the breadwinner we would not be living in Michigan right now).

This brings me to what I want all of you to know (I'm speaking to my female audience here). I want you to feel empowered and I want you to know you can do any project you want to. I hear so many times of wives complaining because they have to wait for their husband to finish a project around the house. You can do it. I am by no means a manly or butch girl. I am 5' 3" and I currently weigh 110 lbs. There are things I may need my husband to help me lift, but that's it. Use the internet to find how-to's, don't be afraid of power tools, dare to dream and decide to do it. I had never laid tile before, then I decided my mom's house needed some tile. Upwards of 600 sq ft of tile to be exact. So I looked up lots of stuff online, borrowed my Dad's tile saw, and away we went.

It went from this:

to this:

Go here for more pictures.

Again, you can do it. If you ever want to do something, plan carefully and do lots of research, but have the confidence that you can get it done and make something look amazing.


Do it yourselfer... said...

Dude...construction mgmt. - that is so awesome! You guys are so stinkin' cute! Thanks for entering the giveaway!

Sharee said...

I appreciate your empowerment speech, this is something I would really like to work on myself. I would love to become handy with tools and be able to do stuff myself. Another reason you should move to Texas... I would just need a little help becoming empowered!

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