Turning a Comment Into a Committee

By Kailyn Corrigan, Marketing Coordinator at Pare

In mid-March I was fortunate enough to attend the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA) Awards Gala. Our submission for the Bristol Stormwater Outfall Retrofit had received a Bronze Award, and I had helped assemble our submission. It was an exciting night where I was able to learn more about the A/E/C industry, meet plenty of new people, and eat a delicious dinner while getting to better know some of Pare’s senior staff.

Turning a Comment into a Committee

The morning after I attended the Awards Gala, I was doing my morning lap around the office and stopped at Civil Engineer, Victoria Howland’s desk. “How was it?!” she asked. As a fellow twenty-something recent graduate, Victoria understood that I had been nervous to keep up in conversation with our company’s senior-level leaders (being the A/E/C newbie that I am). “It was awesome,” I told her. I explained how I was seated next to Larry Riggs, our company President, and what an enjoyable conversation we shared about his professional past and my professional aspirations.

“Oh!” I added, “Right before the ceremony started, Larry told me this:

‘If you ever have a suggestion, issue, or see the need for improvement at Pare, feel free to let me know. We need young people like you to keep us in the loop.’

Isn’t that so thoughtful?”

Her eyes lit up, and a lightbulb appeared above her head. She enthusiastically agreed that was just about as kind and thoughtful as a company President could be.

In the typical and incredibly efficient fashion of engineers I’ve come to know, Tori drafted an email to me before I had even returned to my desk. In less than 10 minutes, Tori had established a plan to turn Larry’s comment into a committee.

At first I was hesitant, but the more we talked, the more her idea of a creative, organized, and productive way of accomplishing what Larry encouraged emerged. As someone with a lot to learn, I acquiesced and said I’d love to be involved. After meeting with Larry and the Civil Division Manager Ken DeCosta, Tori then thought it would be best to pick one young professional from each of our divisions: Civil (Victoria Howland – RI; Lindsey Machamer-MA), Environmental (Marc Weller, P.E.), Transportation (Bobby Sykes), Geotech (Jeff Costa), and Marketing (Me). And that’s how the Rising Professionals came to be!

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L to R: Marc Weller, Kailyn Corrigan, Bobby Sykes, Victoria Howland, Jeff Costa, Lindsey Machamer

Rising Professionals

Since forming in June, we have held monthly meetings where we discuss networking, project concerns, education opportunities, and our experience at Pare. Our first order of business was to create a lunch hour called the “Enlightened Bite” where young professionals or anyone interested could participate in a Q&A with our company leaders—each of whom have led very successful engineering careers. So far we have held two Enlightened Bites.

One of the committee goals is to prevent turnover. As anyone in this industry knows, it is the youngest employees who are most likely to explore options as a young professional, however sometimes it’s because they were looking for something they could have had if only they had asked or been provided more clarity. As a committee, we aim to consider what those factors may be and will share our collective opinions on improving them.

The Rising Professionals hope to alleviate some of the hiccups and miscommunication that exist between generations within the workplace. We hope to fix problems before they develop, and we hope to provide a voice for the young people at our company. We look forward to expanding the group and our goals as we continue to grow.

 

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