Women in Construction Week: Curiosity to Construction

Women in Construction Week is about raising awareness of the many career possibilities available to women in the construction industry. During this week and every week, we are proud of the PCL women who are paving the road to construction for the next generation of female leaders. We caught up with Maria Alvarado, field engineer, Civil Infrastructure. Read her story:

What path brought you to construction?  
Growing up, I was always exposed to construction. My dad worked in construction and I remember helping him and doing layout in the field. When it was time for me to decide what to major in, I knew I wanted a career that I could work in the field and in the office.

How did you land at PCL?
I first learned about PCL when I was attending Arizona State University. What really caught my attention was their commitment to quality and their tagline. At my geotechnical engineering internship, I met a few PCL employees and I was amazed by their level of professionalism and their commitment to safety; I remember thinking “it would be so cool to work for this company.”

What keeps you interested in construction?
The field is both challenging and extremely rewarding. Each project comes with its own unique set of challenges and so do the project teams; therefore, it is important to know how your teammates work and how to strategize together. Construction is also extremely rewarding because you create something tangible that society will rely on for years to come. No two days are the same in the construction industry.

What is your dream project?  
My dream project must include some challenges that allow me to grow. It also must involve a team with similar goals of building it right the first time, safety and of course be profitable.  

What is your favorite project celebration?
My biggest project celebration was at the San Luis Obispo Water Resources Recovery Facility project. It is my first major project and I am excited to gain more field experience, expand my technical knowledge and work with the project team. Each of us has a different background and I am thrilled to learn from the team and contribute as much as I can.

If you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?
I would say to keep working hard and believe in yourself. You have what it takes to accomplish anything you set your mind to. Hard work always pays off. Never let people tell you what you can and cannot be.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be an engineer or at least learn how things worked. As a kid, I was curious and constantly asked random questions about how and why things worked the way they did. 


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