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EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT

 Employee Spotlight

 

 

VICTORIA HOWARD, EI

What inspired you to choose your career path?
Although I flirted with the idea of being an educator, I always knew that I would go into engineering or construction just from growing up during the huge developmental boom in Naples, Florida. With that came a lot of roadway construction and my dad was a truck driver for the leading asphalt contractor in Southwest Florida. I would get up every early every Saturday morning and man the scales with him, recording all of the materials leaving the yard. The real treat was riding around in the dump truck while he made deliveries. On the other side, my godfather is an electrical engineer and I would spend a lot of time looking at his blueprints/CADD drawings. As I got older, I knew that I wanted a career that challenged me and allowed me to make a positive impact in peoples’ lives; civil engineering felt like the perfect fit.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
The people and the numerous learning opportunities. I love working in a smaller office because I am able to work on a variety of projects, everything from sidewalks to drainage analyses to FDOT roadway projects. I also spend a good amount of time in the office and I don’t ever want to dread coming to work. To me, work isn’t “work” if you actually enjoy it so I am extremely thankful to work with people with awesome personalities that have experience to offer me guidance.

What are you most passionate about?
I love watching and playing sports, traveling, and volunteering. A couple of summers ago, I backpacked Europe and visited Istanbul post-graduation. I am currently serving on the Tallahassee Board for the Innovative Community Engagement (ICE) Foundation where our mission is to stimulate different areas of society through mentorship, service, and professional development.

What is your greatest challenge?
I am a perfectionist. Always have been and probably always will be, but my managers and peers have done a great job of helping me find the balance between quality and cost when it comes to keeping our clients satisfied with our work.

Name an important “lessons learned” moment you have experienced.
One of my first responsibilities as an intern was utility coordination for a municipal client. I informed all the utilities or those with infrastructure in the project area about our improvements and requested that they look over the plans and note any conflicts or survey work not depicted correctly. One of them, a traffic operations department, did not think of themselves as a utility, so they corrected me in an email and copied every manager on the project. Yes, it was embarrassing getting an email like that especially after hours, but luckily our client understood and politely explained the information we requested. We all laugh about it now, but the advice I give to all the new interns on their first day is, “Traffic Operations is not a utility!”

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
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