Name: Kara Chiccarelli
Title: Senior Proposal Manager
Years in the AEC Industry: 7 years
What associations or organizations are you a member of? Women’s Transportation Seminar; SMPS
Why choose the A/E/C Industry? As so many in the industry do, I really enjoy the tangible aspect of our business and the visible influence it has on the community. The ability to walk down the street and point to our projects, and to have a front row seat during the transformation of the fabric of our communities and transportation networks is very rewarding. I also love the project-based nature of our work. Even though you may do the same job function every day, different projects have different locations, types or work, and teams so you always have variety and opportunities to learn something new.
Advice/Keys to Success: Strong communication is key in our business. With construction projects there are so many moving parts and so many entities involved. Keeping everyone informed and on the same page is a major task, but it is one of the most critical pieces to get right. Good communication keeps clients and stakeholders engaged and helps run our internal organization effectively. In that same light, the best advice I can give is to speak up. I have seen great ideas come about from someone asking a simple question. Don’t be afraid to question the status quo.
What was your most notable project in 2017? If you had a mentor in your career, who was it and what did they teach you?
I have been fortunate to have a number of great mentors in my career, from managers and project leaders to assigned mentors through formal programs. I think the biggest thing they have taught me, or reinforced is never to stand still. Not literally of course, but to always be furthering and developing yourself and to always seek and accept new challenges. You never know where a particular path might lead, but you always need to take that first step to find out.