Within my first two weeks at Vigilant Management I realized that school is important not only to learn technical material but also to learn life skills. In my opinion, beyond all of the civil engineering knowledge I've gained, the other knowledge I've gained is also of high importance, especially when it comes to project management. So for those of you who don't have a fond love of all things that involve stone and steel and prefer I don't ramble on about them, the following are a couple general lessons I've learned from school.
Anyone in my class would agree that school demands that you are able to efficiently allocate your time and have the ability to prioritize your 101 assignments, projects, labs and the list goes on. As a newcomer to project management it has become quite apparent to me that certain tasks need to take priority. The thing about construction is that almost everything is interdependent. Therefore, to keep the project progressing to meet deadlines, good decisions need to be made quickly and that is in the hands of the project manager.
Another important lesson I've learned from school is that things never go as planned or as expected. This has certainly taught me to be prepared for anything and everything. The same applies to project management as it sometimes requires a different approach when encountering difficult circumstances or people. In construction, it is almost unavoidable to have a plan that doesn't change once throughout the project. Therefore, the project manager has to quickly adapt to the situation and ensure communication is achieved between everyone involved in the project.
I consider it important that as a growing project manager I not only apply the technical skills I have learned from school but also the general skills. In two weeks I have realized that construction and project management are really, really complicated fields. I feel like I have barely scratched the surface but I am very excited to learn more.