By {{Article.AuthorName}} | {{Article.PublicationDate.slice(6, -2) | date:'EEEE, MMMM d, y'}}
{{TotalFavorites}} Favorite{{TotalFavorites>1? 's' : ''}}

Ava Sedaghat
Project Engineer | Gilbane Building Company
New York City

How did you decide on a career in construction?
I was studying structural engineering as an undergrad and was introduced to the construction management world through a career fair. Initially, I loved that I would be able to apply my technical knowledge in a dynamic, hands-on approach. After spending some time in the industry, I’ve found that there is a lot of fulfilment that comes from observing a project come together—it creates a tangible result for all of your time, commitment and effort.

Which “Harry Potter” house would you belong to?

I think that realistically I would be a Hufflepuff, because I share a lot of the house values. However, I would like to belong to Slytherin, because I think it’s the coolest house.

What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on so far?
My favorite project has to be the University of California San Diego’s Design and Innovation Building, because it was my first project, so it really shaped my view of the construction industry. Also, the client was UC San Diego—my alma mater—and the building was providing a space to connect the engineering and visual-arts departments, two of my favorite communities on the campus.

What is the key to good project management?
Building strong relationships with your project team, owner, design team, trade contractors and anyone else that plays a hand in completing the project. Regardless of how passionate, knowledgeable and hardworking an individual is, a project will always be a team effort, and knowing how to work effectively with those around you will yield the best result.

What’s the last movie you watched?

The last movie I watched was “Practical Magic,” and I loved it! So much nostalgia.

How can the industry interest more young people in careers in construction?
As a young person building a career in construction, the things that interest me when looking into a company include community building/networking events, mentorship, professional development opportunities, an emphasis on work-life balance and a culture based on diversity, equity and inclusion.

This is what brought me to my current role at Gilbane Building Company; they have captured what I value both professionally and culturally. What really piqued my interest is their employee resource groups that engage employees through various identity-focused spaces aimed at building community and a sense of belonging at Gilbane.

Do you have a favorite quote?
My favorite quote is “A heart’s a heavy burden.” It’s from one of my favorite movies, “Howl’s Moving Castle,” and I think it reminds us that our hearts and the associated emotions such as care, passion and commitment are difficult to bear; however, we can share this burden with others in our lives by showing our care and depending on one another. This goes back to my point about building strong relationships—having support and understanding from those around you makes your life, and job, much easier.


 Comments ({{Comments.length}})

  • {{comment.Name}}


    {{comment.DateCreated.slice(6, -2) | date: 'MMM d, y h:mm:ss a'}}

Leave a comment

Required! Not valid email!