"I use cutting-edge technology to build multi-million dollar projects."
Keith Merritt, Project Manager, Turner Construction Company
Construction is a very sophisticated industry that doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. Recently, my team helped build a $268 million, state-of-the-art medical facility (link to thenewmtmc.org) in Murfreesboro. Months before workers were on site, we utilized cutting-edge technology to build the structure in a virtual 3-D world, allowing us to create the best construction plan, gather cost data and determine schedule implications.
Every day as a project manager is different and brings new challenges and opportunities. On any given day, I might help on a proposal in pursuit of a $100 million project in the morning, head to post-bid interviews with subcontractors and then be on a scaffold that afternoon performing inspections. I see projects from start to finish and then transition to another great project. I have been part of some exciting projects, including the New MTMC hospital, Nashville Superspeedway, Vanderbilt Cryo-Imaging, and Vanderbilt MCN Vivarium, a research facility built to hold 10,000 mice.
The Construction Management program at MTSU gave me the essential building blocks I needed as a project manager. The knowledge combined with on-the-job training helped me achieve a great career in construction management.
"In today’s economy, it’s nice to know I’m in control of my career."
Rodney George, president and chief manager, The Building Group
The old term ‘self-starter’ is definitely the most important in the construction business. As owner of The Building Group, I am in the office 90 percent of the time working as the firm’s financial and marketing strategist and overseeing construction of banks, churches, restaurants and schools.
Although managing a business that averages between $5 and 6 million in business a year keeps me very busy, freedom is definitely the biggest perk of owning my own business. Sometimes I work crazy hours, but when I want to take off, I have control of my schedule.
My construction management degree from MTSU really helped prepare me for the real world. I graduated at 30 as a nontraditional student and quickly learned the more knowledge you can get in- and outside the classroom the more marketable you will be in the industry.
“Every day is an adventure when you work for a global firm.”
Natalie Hensen, senior vice president, Actus Lend Lease, LLC
I work for a global company headquartered in Sydney, Australia. As the highest-ranking female in the company, I head up strategic sourcing through our Nashville division which builds privatized military housing. Because we have such a wide reach, I travel up to 50 percent of the time to sites including Alaska and Hawaii.
My office environment changes depending on the project. I understand how construction flows and how a building goes together, which makes me a better manager. In a male dominated field, that has really contributed to my success and enabled me to talk to men in a language they understand.
The construction management industry is definitely a field I’d highly recommend for any man or woman who appreciates science, has that technical savvy and likes watching something from beginning to end. There’s a real sense of accomplishment in seeing a project come together and knowing you’re the one who drove that to completion. A great education is the key to getting started.