Our next “Due Diligence: Getting To Know…” employee spotlight is on: Associate Director Michael Kuzmuk in New York.
Macro: Tell us a bit about yourself, Michael.
Michael: I graduated from NC State with a major in Communication and minor in Business Development. A few of my hobbies include playing and coaching ice hockey, skiing (recently took a heli-skiing trip and survived!), and traveling (trying to see a new part of the world every year). I’ve been with the Savills family since 2012 and joined Macro in November 2021.
Macro: What do you love most about your work?
Michael: Teamwork. I grew up always being part of a team, and now working on a great project with an incredibly strong and talented team brings my personal life and professional lives full-circle.
Macro: What is your favorite part of the project life cycle?
Michael: I appreciate and value the entire project life cycle from inception to occupancy. As a project manager, no matter the size or type of project, I enjoy seeing a concept become a material reality.
Macro: What is one thing you couldn’t make it through the day without?
Michael: 4-7 cups of coffee, depending on the meeting schedule for the day! Aside from staying caffeinated, in terms of execution and time management, I utilize reminder and follow-up functions on my iPhone/Outlook to keep my mind fresh and on top of daily and recurring follow-ups. There is so much happening on site and in a project schedule on any given day, reminders make sure I’m not falling behind on critical tasks.
Macro: What are your tried-and-true “work hacks?”
Michael: Listening more than talking. There’s a common saying at Macro: we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Every professional brings a unique style and expertise, and I find it most valuable to listen and learn in order to factor every perspective into my approach to project management.
Macro: What hard and soft skills do you lean on in your day-to-day?
Michael: Hard skills – My experience with building codes and zoning regulations, permitting, and city agency processes and procedures. It can be very challenging, if not impossible, to progress through different phases and get a job done and without this knowledge. Additionally, my understanding of the project management cycle has helped tremendously. I’ve been part of over 40 projects from inception to completion. Knowing the ebbs and flows is very helpful in maintaining an even keel when obstacles inevitably arise.
Soft skills – Understanding and appreciating that every person has a unique personality and working style. Recognizing people’s inherent differences has made me a more patient person and teaches me daily that there’s more than one solution to a problem or situation.
Macro: What surprises people about your job?
Michael: When sharing my career with those outside the industry, they are amazed by how much is managed throughout a project. From the design/programming stages, to contract management, due diligence, financials, scheduling, permitting, etc., most people are unaware of all that I’m involved with on a project. I always tell people that when I look at a building or space, I think about the thousands of hours (literally!) spent in meetings, planning and making tough decisions and executing. The incredible technical expertise behind even the smallest and often overlooked details is hard to describe.
Macro: If you could give one piece of advice to a young professional, what would it be?
Michael: Don’t try to be the smartest person in the room. Be the smartest person at what you do.
Macro: Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
Michael: “Loyal with high personal expectations.”