As the regional manager at Royal Electric, Dan Kruger has been in the construction industry for a long time. He began his journey working for an electrical contractor, despite having little experience in the field. “I basically got into the construction industry by accident,” he admits. After moving to Sacramento, he started as a journeyman electrician for Royal Electric and steadily worked his way up the career ladder. When he landed a few promotions, he decided to supplement his practical experience with UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Construction Management Certificate Program.
Opening New Doors
The management program introduced Kruger to a whole new side of construction. “When I started in the program, I had just a field background,” he said. “I knew the process of putting buildings together. I didn't know the management side at all.” By continuing his day job and taking his classes at night, he began to understand perspectives he hadn’t dealt with in his experience. “One of the classes I enjoyed the most was on the accounting aspect of project management. I'm not a numbers guy, by nature, but it was really interesting to see that whole process and understand how it worked.”
“I got a lot of new knowledge out of the program, and it widened my perspective of the construction industry and business—there’s a lot of value to me in that sense.”
Kruger recalls that he didn’t necessarily have plans for career advancement while he was going through the program, but still gained the perspective and abilities to take on new managerial responsibilities. “The program laid the groundwork and helped me gain the skills I needed to get to the current position that I’m in now.” Currently, Kruger manages a group of project managers who do airport and underground work. “I felt like every one of the courses in the program had value, and I always got something out of it.”
Advice for Prospective Students
Kruger encourages prospective students to make the most of the various benefits the Construction Management program offers. He describes the networking opportunities that he was given access to, and says he regrets not taking better advantage of them. “As I moved up, I really didn’t understand just how valuable it could be.”
Upon reflecting on his experience in the program, Kruger feels that it was well worth the time and money. “It’s hard to put a value on what this program gave me,” he explains. “It allowed me to grow in my career. And if you like the industry, if you’re trying to grow your career, this program is worth the investment.”