Samantha Mulai Austin
What is your current role?
Why did you decide to be on the WICS advisory council?
As a woman in the industry I recognize the absence of women of color.
What is the biggest change you would like to see come out of the WICS effort/initiative? More women focused events will guarantee to give women a seat at the table. Whatever platforms are used to facilitate growth and longevity of women in the construction industry, I'm fully vested.
What would you tell someone if they were interested in supporting this effort? How can they help?
Participate and support the initiative and be an agent of change!
What's your favorite part of your job?
Learning from my co-workers and other cross functional team members.
What advice would you give someone starting out in this industry?
There's plenty to learn! Be patient, optimistic and have an open mind.
What is the biggest change you have seen in the construction industry since you started?
Commodity tariffs that determined project budgets significantly. This validates the necessity of projecting and buying materials in volumes to guarantee price protection.
Who inspires you and why?
My mother is my inspiration. I admire her determination for being an agent of change in her community. She has also taught me the benefits of a good education and good manners. She reminds me constantly that learning can take place at any age.
What’s the best career advice you ever received?
At a New Employee orientation, the Sr. VP said "Welcome on-board and we're glad to have you however, we've been managing to keep the company running without you!" My interpretation of this statement is, when you join an organization, it is very important to learn that organization's culture and see if it truly is the right fit for you before starting to change things around. If you're in the right place, you'll get your chance to help keep the doors open.
What (work related thing) keeps you up at night?
Having a 10 year old who thinks out of the box and is determined to become an Engineer. He asks TONS of questions about the projects we are actively building and so I too have become interested in various aspects of the trade, just so I have something to report.
I once sneaked into an NFL game.