March 25, 2022

MEET TSKP: NEREJ 2022 Women in Construction Spotlight

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Three recent additions to the TSKP team: Joy Ortiz Colón, Ashley Horan, and Anne Queally, were recently featured in New England Real Estate Journal’s “2022 Women in Construction.” They spoke about their professional achievements, mentors in the field of architecture, and what they like to do in their free time to unwind. Read each feature below!

Joy Ortiz Colón, Architectural Designer

What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months? Completing the requirements for licensure is something very important to me as a young professional. Over the pandemic, I have focused on taking my architectural registration exams (ARE’s), and I was able to pass a majority of them. I think it’s important to look back and recognize the progress made and have gratitude in achieving steps towards a long-term goal. I believe this gratitude makes finally completing the goal that much sweeter!

Starting out in the construction business, who or what empowered you? As a young professional Hispanic woman, it has been very rewarding when I have been invited to have a seat at the table. Having my leaders invite me to participate and giving me the responsibility to actively lead in important client and user group meetings has made me feel that I play an important role on projects and in my community. I have grown a lot through these experiences. It is very rewarding when you feel valued by your leaders, to feel seen, and to help your community feel seen as well. I feel as though I not only represent myself or my firm but also my Puerto Rican people. That is what helps me feel confident in what I do.

When you’re not busy, what is your go to book or podcast to help you unwind? Since I have been studying form my licensing exams, I prefer to unwind by watching or listening to recordings of musicals. I am a fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” and “Hamilton” and his latest animated musical “Encanto.” Its comforting to know that there are stories that relate to you and elevate your mood.

What tips or advice would you offer to other women who are considering entering the construction industry? Be resilient and adaptive to change. Be prepared or over prepared because a lot of unexpected things will happen along your journey.

Ashley Horan, Marketing Assistant

What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months? I have only been part of the A/E/C industry for a year, after COVID forced me out of a very different career. The process of educating myself about architecture, learning the (many) acronyms, and becoming familiar with the proposal process has been a great accomplishment itself, one that I am very proud of. I still have much more to learn, but the confidence I now feel in my abilities in this position has grown exponentially from a year ago. I can’t wait to keep learning!

When you’re not busy, what is your go to book or podcast to help you unwind? I am self-admittedly a “true-crime junkie” and listen to podcasts about it on my commute to work. Some of my favorites would be “Generation Why” and “Dark History with Bailey Sarian”

Within your firm, who has helped you succeed within the industry? How have they helped you? I am lucky enough to work with many encouraging and supportive leaders at TSKP who have not only educated me, but also listened to suggestions I bring forward. Stephanie Beals, our marketing director, has been a great mentor to me and her low-stress approach to meeting deadlines has inspired me to think creatively about solving problems rather than stress out about them.

What tips or advice would you offer to other women who are considering entering the construction industry? Find your niche. Before joining the A/E/C industry, it had never occurred to me that firms would have dedicated marketing departments, and that my background in graphic design would fit in at an architecture firm. Turns out, I have found a job where all of my skills are being used, while working in an industry that I find very interesting. You never know what opportunities you will find until you jump in and find out!

Anne Queally, Architectural Designer

What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months? My greatest professional achievement would be graduating with my masters in Architecture from Roger Williams University this past spring and getting my first full-time job at TSKP Studio. In getting my degree and starting work, I am one step closer to improving the quality of life for those whose built environment is no longer serving them.

When you’re not busy, what is your go to book or podcast to help you unwind? I enjoy a wide range of podcasts, but one of my favorites is This American Life. This podcast takes a single topic gives you multiple stories that relate to it, but many are an unexpected take. It really allows you to open your mind to more that is out there.

Starting out in the construction business, who or what empowered you? My desire to join the construction business came from my sister, who is disabled, and seeing how the built environment was not designed for her or others like her. However, whenever she was in a better designed space she was automatically more comfortable and more able to perform at her best. My goal is to help others do the same and create spaces that everyone can be comfortable in.

Within your firm, who has helped you succeed within the industry? How have they helped you? My project managers have helped me succeed the most thus far, by teaching me more in-depth construction and technical skills that better communicate how a project should be illustrated and how to do it in a timely manner.

What tips or advice would you offer to other women who are considering entering the construction industry? If you like what your doing, stick with it and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.

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