A Day in the Life of... Dan Hlavac

Dan HlavacDan Hlavac is a Project Manager for D.E. Harvey Builders, a recognized leader in the Houston building industry, with a portfolio of impressive buildings in Houston and  several other major cities. Dan served as Intelligence Specialist in the United States Navy for 4 years before enrolling at the University of Houston. During his time as a student at UH, Dan served as President of the Construction Management Student Chapter and Vice President of Sigma Lambda Chi, an organization that recognizes outstanding students who are majoring in construction. He has been married for 11 years and has three sons.

What degree did you earn, and when did you graduate?

I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management in May 2004.

What was your first job after graduation from UH?

I was hired as an Assistant Project Manager with D.E. Harvey Builders immediately after graduation.

How did you progress to your current position?

As an Assistant Project Manager, I grew to love my work, the industry, the people in it and the satisfaction of getting the job done. Within a 28-month period, I was promoted to Project Manager.

What are the primary responsibilities of your current position?

I provide leadership and direction to my project teams in several areas: project acquisition / marketing, project management, estimating, cost control, scheduling, project closeout, maintaining client relations, and employee development.

What is a typical workday for you?

Although a bit tedious, my job is fun, varying from 9 to 14 hours per day within a 5 to 6-day work week. It involves everything and anything happening in our industry. Our projects range in size from less than 5,000 square feet to more than 1,000,000 square feet--from healthcare, corporate offices, to industrial, retail, hospitality, government, institutional buildings, and parking garages.

Also, I volunteer with several construction industry organizations, participate on a number of committees. In fact, I am a proud member of the Construction Management Industry Advisory Board at the University of Houston.

What do you like best about your job?

The people I work with and the visible results of an entire team's effort. I also enjoy showing my family the outcome of my work.

What advice would you give to students considering a career in construction management?

First and foremost, I advise students to study hard. Try to maintain a 3.2 GPA or better. Network with your classmates; become an active member of a construction student organization; have a true interest in construction or you will fail. Understand that it takes working more than 40 hours per week to become a true leader in this industry. And, be sure to have a little fun every day.