With a mother that’s a dentist and her dad as a professional baker, her realization of going into construction did not come through personal experience but started in 6th grade wood shop class. Of-course her parents did play a significant role in sending her to Pinkerton Academy High School, located in south central New Hampshire, as it was the perfect environment to foster her interests. As early as freshman year she was invited to participate in the “No Place Like Home” program where students get hands on experience in building homes for families in need. Stephanie says it was a big deal to be part of such a collaborative effort, and further cemented her decision to keep building. Her studies in construction gave her a great education on the residential side, but she knew she wanted to go big. With- out any idea of what that really meant, she discovered the CM program at Wentworth and knew it was for her.
A high achiever, she immersed herself in all things Wentworth, including: Volunteering for the Construction Management Club as Chair of Site Visits & Guest Lectures, eventually becoming VP of the club and recently working as the Wentworth Student Admissions Ambassador. In 2012 she became certified in OSHA-10, in 2013 she was a National Gold Medalist recipient from National SkillsUSA for Prepared Speech and in 2015 she began her training with the CMAA for her CM certification. She is also the Radio Talk Show Host and Staff Writer for Accelerate, Wentworth's Innovation + Entrepreneurship Center and serves on the executive committee for AGC MA BWiC. Oh yeah, and she speaks fluent Mandarin.
During various school breaks she works at a cabinetry making shop in Bow, NH. She says she was 18 when she looked for this specific work and it was not easy. She offered to work for free at places just so she could get the experience. They brought her on and although she was the only female (and the youngest) worker on the shop floor, she was thrilled. She earned her stripes by being what she calls a “shop monkey”-picking things up, putting them down, and doing whatever was asked of her. It came as no surprise that within a few years she has earned respect and responsibility among her peers. Her greatest accomplishment to date there has been being given the responsibility to work the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) wood router, a highly complex machine that creates objects from wood. Only 3 to 4 of her colleagues have the skill to work it. Cabinetry making is not her choice of career, but she says it’s something she can go back to if she ever wanted to pivot career paths.
As part of the Wentworth CM program, Stephanie has completed multiple internships that include: Project Engineer Co-Op at BOND, Project Engineer at Skanska, Project Services intern at Consigli Construction and most recently Field Engineer at Hensel Phelps and Business Management intern at Noex. Each opportunity has offered her vast experience in safety, quality control, project scheduling, team building and more.
But, she says at times even she needs a confidence boost. Coming into these work spaces as a student and female can create self-doubt. She learned that asking questions is the “biggest way to grow, but it has to be the right question- don’t be afraid to show what you know when you’re asking questions”. She also advises to get involved in career fairs and networking--find something you believe in.
When asked where she sees herself in 5 to 10 years, she says she would love to have the opportunity to work in various parts of the country so she can experience first-hand how the elements effect commercial building and eventually become an executive and perhaps even CEO of her own company. She would love to have a critical role in creating more opportunities for women in the industry and encourage young girls to consider a career in building. By all that she has accomplished to date she has a great head start. Keep your eye on Stephanie-she is on her way to an amazing career in construction!
Thank you Stephanie for sharing your experiences and contributing to our mission of Building Women in Construction!