2021 Women in Construction: Jan Koch, Project Manager, Shawmut Design and Construction

March 26, 2021 - Spotlights

What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months? We recently reached substantial completion on the structural façade renovation at Yale Field, a historic baseball stadium in Connecticut. It was an honor to work on this building with a fantastic client and team. The project required a lot of problem-solving to work with the building’s existing geometry while rebuilding new 3” thin shotcrete arched panels on a radiused façade. I’ve driven by this building my whole life, so it was exciting to be part of the work to restore this iconic building.

What are you most looking forward to post-pandemic? I love feeling the energy in the room or on the jobsite, and the magic of collaborating in person. I look forward to everyone regaining a comfort level to work together face to face. It’s especially hard to build new relationships when you can’t look someone in the eye. I also can’t wait to take off masks and see everyone’s smiles!

Why should women consider a career in construction? The construction industry is full of opportunity and there’s never a dull moment. If you like problem-solving and variety in your workday, then I suggest this field whole-heartedly! There’s always something new to learn!

Starting out in the construction business, who or what empowered you? I grew up around my parents’ small business, a lightning protection firm in Connecticut. At age three I had my first “job” putting strings on water pipe tags, and I loved it. Seeing my father and mother work hard and be successful taught me a valuable lesson about work ethic, business, and the general culture of construction. I never once saw a barrier to entry because they gave me the confidence that it was a place I belonged and that I had something valuable to contribute. That lifetime of exposure and empowerment set me up for who I am today.

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