Our next “Due Diligence: Getting To Know…” employee spotlight is on: Senior Project Manager Jessica Marman in New York.
Macro: Tell us a bit about yourself, Jessica.
Jessica: I grew up in the New York metro area and went to Villanova University for my undergraduate degree (Go Cats!) I majored in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations, with minors in Business & Sociology, and a certification in Information Technology & Computer Science. Can you tell I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up?!
My first job after graduation was in marketing for a construction manager in Manhattan, and after a few years, I transitioned my career to the project-side to work on healthcare projects, including infrastructure, surgical and NICU renovations at Mount Sinai West Hospital. My next step was working for an organization that did exclusively design-heavy commercial fit-outs, and then I landed at Macro in December 2019. I have since had the pleasure of working on amazing commercial fit-outs, affordable housing, education and change management projects.
In my personal life, I love hanging out with my husband, Brian, our dog (aka child), Mac, our cat, Aardy, and our friends and family! We love traveling and completing projects at our house as a family, and I personally am an avid reader and an amateur illustrator of buildings and homes!
Macro: What do you love most about your work?
Jessica: Our leadership team is really invested in the growth and success of our team, so I have been fortunate to experience amazing mentorship at Macro. Solid mentorship is invaluable, whether you feel like you know nothing or are feeling on top of the world, someone always has a different perspective than you that you can use to help inform and guide your decisions.
Macro: What is your favorite part of the project life cycle?
Jessica: Coming from the construction management world, I am always happy when I see a project come together on site. My two favorite parts of the construction life cycle are demolition, especially when it involves excavation (I love a piece of CAT equipment), and finishes. At that point, you really get to see your hard work come to life with the site buzzing during its final push.
Macro: What is one thing you couldn’t make it through the day without?
Jessica: I am going to shock some people here: I don’t drink coffee and only drink tea sparingly, so I challenge myself to drink 80 oz. of water every day. My water bottle is basically an appendage.
Macro: What are your tried-and-true “work hacks?”
Jessica: This shouldn’t be a hack, but it is: Take. Diligent. Notes. Personally, I always feel like the conversation that I am having in the moment is the most important thing I can be doing for the project, and that it would be totally impossible to forget the details of what was discussed. However, as we know, the human brain is finite at times! Writing down everything that you know (or even think!) you will need to act on or refer back to in the future makes your life a million times easier when you inevitably have that moment: “What was I supposed to do with that information again?”
Macro: What hard and soft skills do you lean on in your day-to-day?
Jessica: A soft skill that I use regularly is exercising strong relationships with the people I work with – whether it be a client, vendor, designer, or contractor. At the end of the day, we are all humans at work with the same goal: build the project design successfully, and walk away friends, so we can hopefully work together again someday. That said, I find it best to appeal to people’s humanity when we are trying to get through complicated decisions and project issues so that everyone feels heard and valued, even when there’s disagreement at how to arrive at a solution. As it relates to hard skills, I find that project cost control is ingrained in my day-to-day and incredibly important from an owner’s perspective.
Macro: What surprises people about your job?
Jessica: People are surprised that many, if not most, major decisions on a project will roll up to me and my team for us to weigh in and recommend a path forward. People like to imagine that your typical construction project team member is someone who is wearing full PPE 24/7, carrying a clipboard or iPad, and covered in saw dust or paint getting their hands dirty, day in and day out. Sure, sometimes it’s like that — but oftentimes it’s not when you’re a project manager!