From painters to carpenters, my family has worked in the construction industry all my life. I knew I wanted to follow in my family’s legacy with a career in the field. I started my journey as an electrical groundsman, and a few years later, I met an amazing woman in the health and safety profession. I was inspired by her passion to further women’s participation in the health, safety, and environment (HSE) sector. The advice she gave inspired me to take the leap.
I started my studies in HSE, and little did I know, my college experience would end up defining my future career! At the time, my professor who was also a PCL employee announced that an internship opportunity would be opening up. I remember her looking me right in the eye and I knew I had to apply for it. I was ecstatic when I got the job and joined the PCL team as an HSE intern in 2019.
What attracted me to PCL was the company’s values. We treat our employees as family and offer support when needed. Hawaiians have three main pillars rooted in our culture: ‘ohana – family, kokua – to help or assist, and kuleana – responsibility. In other words, it is your responsibility to help your ‘ohana (family). Similar to PCL’s culture, everyone is seen as equal, and we celebrate each of our contributions and the strength that we bring to the team. No matter how far apart we are, help is always available.
My first day as an HSE intern took me by complete surprise. Right off the bat, I was assigned to a multi-million-dollar project. There was never a day when I felt like my internship had begun or ended because I was never treated as an intern. I made valuable contributions to my team and that made me feel like I earned my wings. Despite being tasked with such a large-scale project, my supervisor provided me with tremendous resources and support to set me up for success. One thing that stuck out to me through his mentorship was the concept of “mentor up, mentor down.” He always emphasized the importance of both mentors and mentees helping each other out.
I appreciated the way PCL set up their student program, including how they assigned me a buddy to provide support and trusted their students. I quickly realized that PCL is always empowering its employees to learn and become the skilled professionals they aspire to be, so I knew I would be in good hands to grow my career here.
As I transitioned into my full-time career with PCL, I continued to develop my profession by branching out into training and consultation. PCL saw the potential in me and capitalized on my strengths by empowering me to conduct training sessions for our site workers. The recognition was impactful for me, and it has motivated me to become a better worker knowing that the company truly values and cares for me.
Fast forward to present day, and I am now applying my knowledge and experience by implementing a holistic approach to safety. I want to spread the message of focusing on the mental health of our workers, and my goal is to ensure that everyone gets home safely to their families. Relationship building, empathy and connection are so essential to HSE, and these values are perpetuated at PCL. It’s not just about showing up to do your job, it’s about the human connections and care that we have for one another and I’m proud to call my colleagues my ‘ohana (family).