April 2022 Accelerate Magazine

WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG Tell us a little bit about yourself. I received my Associate Degree in Civil Engineering and Fresh Water Resources from Gateway Technical College in Sturtevant, where I graduated as Valedictorian of my class. I joined R/M as an intern in 2019 and accepted a full-time position 2020. In my free-time, I like to go trap shooting, kayaking, and horseback riding. Why did you decide to get involved with the trades? I took a variety of STEM classes in high school and was involved in a program called “Destination Imagination,” which is all about engineering. I knew then that I wanted to be involved in an engineering-related career, but I was also interested in the water side of science – water testing and things like that – and the program at Gateway allowed me to study both. What led you to your current career path? My teachers knew that I lived in the Waukesha area, but most of the internships promoted at Gateway were located in Racine. One of my teachers saw an opening for the internship at R/M in Waukesha and sent it over to me. I jumped at the opportunity to fill out an interest form online, however, it was near the application deadline, so I decided to drop off my resume in person. I was on my way to the R/M office to do so when my current boss called me after seeing my interest form and asked if I was interested in interviewing for the position. When I told him I was actually on my way to the office, he asked if we could do the interview that day. The rest is history! What is the hardest part about being in the trades? Being a woman in an industry that’s primarily male dominated. I spend most of my days on construction sites, and while there are more and more women getting involved in construction and engineering work all the time, there are still certain stereotypes and obstacles we have to navigate. What’s your favorite part about your job? All the people I get to talk to! I meet new people all the time. I also have so much flexibility when it comes to my day-to-day work. And I love that I get to be outside almost all the time. What would you say to someone who wants to get involved in the trades? Communication is the most important thing when it comes to being successful in this type of role. If you know how to work with different personalities and can effectively navigate problems that arise before they escalate, you’ll set yourself up for success. Where do you see yourself going in the future? I love working for R/M and hope to progress in my career here. There are so many opportunities available. None of us know where the future will take us, but I look forward to finding out! • ELIZABETH BROWN Construction Review Technician, Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. SPOTLIGHT ON THE TRADES 22