Employee Spotlight

Kathrin Patton, Project Manager

Though women make up only 10% of our construction industry, you bring valuable skills and experiences that every company needs. This week we recognize the challenges and victories of the women in construction at AFG! We recognize and support you!

What advice do you have for other women looking to excel in the AEC industry?

Get a broad education.  Know a little bit about everything.  Learn how to draft by hand.  Learn to read construction drawings.  If you want to be an Architect/designer/artist, you will probably have to draft some details and do a few hardware schedules first.

Construction Management involves a lot of writing.  You’ll be writing emails, reports, letters, and memos.  Work to improve your writing and typing skills.

Ask questions.  Find people who can be resources for you.  Nobody knows it all, and there’s something new every day.  There are days when logically you would say, “this can’t be done”.  Then you do it.

Describe a moment/event in your career that you were incredibly proud of?

[When] I wrote a letter granting Final Acceptance for a $26 million project. This project has so many challenges – there were emergencies/disasters nearly every day. The contractor argued and complained about a thousand tiny things, the workmanship was below standards, and the construction drawings were incomplete. To this day, I doubt the Contractor read the entire scope of work. The project went from being 10 months behind schedule to 10 weeks behind schedule.

There were many staffing changes – the GSA CO and PM, and the Contractor PM. AFG had three PMs, for Inspectors, and at least four Project Coordinators. And this was the second General Contractor – the first one was fired before NTP. One time it was getting 18 people from 4 different entities to show up for a meeting (in person) and getting everyone to agree on a schedule.

It seemed impossible at the beginning and took an incredible amount of preparation, then it all fell into place.