• BWiC Profile Featuring Carli Cabana, APM, Siena Construction Corporation

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    Sometimes it’s an “AHA” moment for those who decide to go into construction and for others it’s a gradual realization through personal experiences. Carli was literally a baby when her father began bringing her to his residential job sites, so obviously she may not remember everything. But she does recall a lifetime of looking at specs and blue prints, of walking job-sites and seeing and hearing the passion her father had for his hobby of building homes.

    Naturally his passion rubbed off, but Carli’s interests leaned more towards architecture. In high school she took art and CAD classes, then in 2009 went on to Wentworth for her BArch. (Bachelor of Architecture) With a requirement of two co-ops, she interned twice as a CAD operator at MIT Department of Facilities and it was there she discovered project management as a career option. It was an easy decision when, while bartending in her “free time” during her senior year, a field operator/regular customer from Siena Construction invited her to meet with the owner, Terry Hayes. Upon her graduation in 2013, she was immediately hired as an Assistant P.M. and has never considered working anywhere else.

    Siena Construction has always fostered an environment of integrated collaboration among the staff, so for Carli it is the perfect place to leverage all of her skills while doing what she loves. As APM she attends pre-bid, walk through and scope review meetings, uses Blue Beam to create estimates and helps solicit pricing from sub-contractors. Just recently she tapped into her architectural skills by leading the re-design of Siena’s Cambridge based office to accommodate the company’s latest growth wave.

    While working on multiple significant projects that included Cogo Labs Office Space renovation and Novartis CART Lab & Office Fit-out, she returned to Wentworth and in the spring of 2016 completed her Master’s Degree in Facilities Planning and Management. She says someday (way down the road) she can envision herself working as an FM or CM for a hospital or resort in the Caribbean!

    Carli has had her share of challenges along the way that include struggling with work-life balance, especially while going for her Master’s. She said she “It was a difficult time for sure. I needed to keep my head on straight and really pay attention to every detail”. She gives credit to mentor Chrissy Gabriel, a Senior Project Manager at Siena at the time. Carli shares that Chrissy had the confidence and know how to manage her work and would always take time out of her own day to offer advice and best practices.

    Carli has discovered that working as a project manager offers a variety of learning experiences. The Life Sciences industry is complex with intricate details and systems. Each project allows you to become an expert on something new. She believes being organized is the most valuable aspect you can bring to the table and she never hesitates to ask questions. For those just entering the industry, she advises to “stand up for yourself and know when you’re being stepped on.” She additionally offers to make it your own initiative to work harder than everyone else, and the opportunities will open up.

    As a member of the AGC MA BWiC committee, Carli participates in developing programs and tools for other women that need support in the industry. There is no doubt Carli is on a defined path of success of her own design. (no pun intended)

    Thanks Carli for sharing your experiences and contributing to our mission of Building Women in Construction!
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