Career Story: Vice President Of Construction Management At A Large Real Estate Company

Vice President Of Construction Management At A Large Real Estate Company

Job Title: VP Construction Management

Education: MBA, Michigan State University, •• BSBA, University of Denver

Previous Experience: Project Manager for general contractor and then project executive

Job Tasks: I manage new residential multi-family construction in the New England area for a large, publicly traded real estate organization. We own 100,000 plus units nationally and I work for the development group. The development group is responsible for finding new apartment sites, getting the site entitled (or permitted) and then constructing the new apartment buildings.

I am in charge of the pre-construction and construction process. Pre-construction refers to the tasks associated with plan development and system selections prior to actually beginning construction. This is the most critical element of the development process because it is the planning of the project before you actually clear the land and begin building. Pre-construction can actually take more time than the actual construction process.

I also assist the local development partner with permitting the project. This can involve meeting with public officials and neighbors (or abutters) of the proposed project. We complete a variety of presentation materials and hold a variety of public meetings to get community buy in. We also complete traffic studies, site surveys, geotechnical analysis of the proposed site, soil evaluations and economic impact studies to assist us with the permitting process. Over the past 30 months we have constructed 900 apartment units in the Boston and Cambridge markets with a total developed cost of $300 million.

My days consist of problem solving and decision making while projects are in construction. At any one time we may have 300 people working on a project and being able to make decisions to keep everyone moving is critical. A one hour delay on a project can cost $25,000 in lost manpower.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part is seeing being able to see an actual physical structure that will be there for a very long time. The projects employ thousands of people and involve materials from all over the world. It is a very complicated and rewarding process.

The worst part is getting the projects approved through public hearings.

Job Tips:
1. Work in the construction industry summers during high school and college

2. Take advantage of being able to spend time on the project site to witness first hand how things go together

3. Intern with an architectural or engineering firm to understand how they approach a project and design the buildings

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