A Day in the Life

Ron Pruzinsky, a College of Technology Alum, talks to Innovations about his career in Construction Management and offers advice about what it takes to be successful at Faithful+Gould.

Faithful+Gould’s "constructive expertise" combines lateral thinking, some of the best brains in the industry, and vast experience to deliver project management, cost management and construction consulting advice. Their work spans three main sectors – transport, property and industrial. Faithful+Gould is a member of the Atkins Group, one of the leading engineering and design consultancies. Atkins is the official engineering design services provider for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games

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

At age "thirty-something," I earned my B.S. in Civil Engineering Technology/Construction Management in 2005.

What was your first job after graduation from UH?

My first position was facility project manager at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. I have more than 23 years of progressive experience in construction project delivery systems including program and project management, construction management, joint ventures, business development, trusted advisor, procurement, estimating, and design.

How did you progress to your current position?

My work ethic is "doing whatever it takes to get the projects completed." At Faithful+Gould, this has called for working hard, many long hours and then relocating. In addition, my progression is attributed to having a great industry mentor and advice from professionals like Dr. Neil Eldin, professor and director of the UH Construction Management Program, and the members of the UH Construction Management Industry Advisory Board.

What are the primary responsibilities of your current position?

Primarily, I am responsible for maintaining the Profit/Loss (P&L) for our Dallas operations, which includes overseeing the total construction process from conception to close out; contract review and negotiations; managing ground-up projects including programming, design, bidding, permitting and construction of multi-million dollar programs. In addition, my business development responsibilities include further development of government, aviation, and healthcare in the central region of the U.S.

I also serve as a Department of Defense Subject Matter Expert (SME) in healthcare outfitting and transition services.

Not all of this is possible without a strong team. I mentor, train, and guide designated project teams during program verification and facilitate the coordination and development on final contract construction documentation.

What is a typical workday for you?

Typically, I am in the office by 6:30 a.m. to complete overnight emails; then the game is on with proposals, contracts, and conference calls. I spend a lot of time in strategy sessions where we constantly try to stay ahead of our competition, making sure our existing clients are satisfied.

What do you like best about your career?

I enjoy the challenges that our clients give to us. Being a consultant is much different from working for a construction management-at-risk firm. We are an extension to the owners, which makes us a trusted agent in a high-level advisory role. We assist in the early stages of planning and programming and participate in the selection of their delivery system, whether the acquisition strategy is to be a traditional design, bid, build or design build. Since we stay involved until the project is completed, it is not even noticeable that we are an independent party.

What advice would you give to students considering a career in your field?

It is important to learn how to communicate effectively in writing and speaking. You will rely on these skills a great deal for producing proposals and presentations. Dealing with issues in the workplace immediately helps to alleviate a lot of stress and misunderstanding. As I mentioned earlier, keeping clients satisfied is a key to our success. This often means serving others first, not yourself. Finally, always remember from where you have come.

The College of Technology offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of majors suited to students wishing to become entrepreneurs in the field of their choice. For information about academic programs, contact the Academic Service Center, 713-743-4100.

If you would like to be considered for a future A Day in the Life article, contact cotmarcom@uh.edu and advise of your degree and major.