Paul Szmurlo, PE, Sr. Vice President, Director PM/CM Services
Congratulations on 10 years with AFG! How did you come to work with us?
Michael O’Connor hired me at ANADAC in 1987 and we worked together for 15 years. Then he left to start AFG Group, Inc. After about 10 years apart, he decided he missed me and asked me to come back.
How did you become interested in the A/E/C industry?
My older brother had an engineering degree, and being good at math, I thought engineering was the way to go. A summer internship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers convinced me I didn’t want to be a designer and perhaps construction management was the way to go.
What has been your favorite project?
All the ones that have been completed.
What has been the most challenging project that you successfully managed?
The ones that are currently ongoing.
Outside of your work, where can we find you?
In the woods or on the water, usually looking for something to eat.
Do you have any advice for those just starting out in AEC?
Build your resume and reputation: Take on challenges that seem daunting at first. Work harder and smarter than the competition. Stay ethical, honest, and keep ahead of the pack.
Build your network: Knowing and keeping track of contacts in the industry is very valuable.
Build your presentation and public speaking skills: Being a confident and polished speaker is a valuable skill in the AEC industry – especially in front of large groups and strangers. Your knowledge is as valuable as your ability to share it.
Build your leadership skills: Look for opportunities to lead groups and other staff. Technical people with strong leadership skills are always in demand.