Student Spotlight: Jenni Castro
The Nuances of Construction Management
Jenni Castro’s family was in the landscaping industry, so she grew up around construction projects. That’s where her interest in the industry began, but it peaked as an adult, when she was hired as an administrator at an architectural firm. There, she pushed herself to attend bid meetings, so she could learn more about the construction process and help grow the firm’s business.
From the architectural firm, she moved to a heavy equipment sales company. She is now in workforce development at Royal Electric, where she trains employees and provides professional development opportunities.
Choosing UC Davis
With exposure to the construction business from so many different angles, Castro understood the nuances and niches within the industry. She chose Continuing and Professional’s Construction Management Program as a way to explore everything the industry has to offer and to supplement her degree in environmental science.
“The program was a great eye-opener for me because I had so little experience in the industry.”
Castro said she was initially surprised by the small class size. “But,” she said, “I came to appreciate how that fostered relationships with classmates and instructors.” She said the certificate program offered the kind of content she would get in a full bachelor’s degree, but condensed into 12 months.
Castro said she considered other programs but chose UC Davis because of the interaction and networking opportunities it offered. In fact, she said, “The program was a great eye-opener for me because I had so little experience in the industry. As you go through the courses, you see the dynamics of a general construction company and how everyone works as a team.”
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Another plus was gaining an understanding of the full construction cycle. “Moving into my current position, I have a better understanding of what our employees do and what their aspirations are, so I can tailor their professional development path.” She said her understanding of the business, thanks to the program, also helps her build trust with the employees she serves.
Thoughts for Prospective Students
Through the Construction Management Certificate Program, Castro realized the importance of relationship building in the construction field, as well as being up to date and competent in the different software programs on which the industry depends.
She encourages prospective students to consider their professional goals. “I would definitely recommend the program to others as long as they had the solid affirmation that they wanted to go into construction.” She also recommends the program for building a strong foundation in soft skills.
And if you already have industry experience, Castro advises you not to be deterred. “There’s a mingling of entry-level and more experienced individuals in the program,” she said.
Learn more about our Construction Management program, including our new certificate in Advanced Studies in Estimating and Integrated Cost Management.