Allison Clark, Senior Estimator/Planner
What do you love about the construction industry?
I spent four years of my career as a project engineer, but I’m drawn to pre-construction because you’re a leader in setting projects up for success. I enjoy solving issues and being challenged, and that’s exactly what preconstruction allows me to do. Whether it’s thinking about the labor market, regional differences, subcontractor coverage, schedule or size of the project, they all demand different thought processes on how they ultimately affect the client’s budget. Watching how a job develops from conceptual design to bid documents is unique in that it’s always a different scenario project-to-project and you’re always learning something new. I love that I can constantly learn from my performance, results and statistics.
Advice you would give other women entering our field?
Although the industry continues to evolve, construction is still a male-dominated field. There are only two females in my department and sometimes I was the only female in the field. I didn’t let it stop me from doing what I love. My advice to other women is strive to be a great teammate and supporter of your co-workers and they will do the same in return. Do not hesitate to ask questions because, in my opinion, that’s the best way to learn. Speak up and take action as an issue arises so that you are able to prevent it from reoccurring. From my experience, whether you are aware of it or not, there is always at least one person that will have your back when needed.
Your favorite project to date and why?
It’s hard to select one as they are all so unique and each provide a different learning experience. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for healthcare projects though because I grew up going to doctor appointments more than most children after I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Being able to help produce a project that can ultimately help improve or save lives is special to me.
What are your hobbies or what do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy spending time entertaining my dogs, Zoey, Margaret and Mable, as well as my rabbit, Midnight. I love crafting, volunteering and fostering with the SPCA of SW Michigan and collecting Lego Architecture sets.