I AM A WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION
Tracy Brennan, Lead Estimator
How long have you been in the construction industry?
27 years; 3 years, 4 months at O&G
How did you get started in the construction industry?
Starting at the age of 12, my mother taught me how to paint, lay tile, safely demolish a wall, and change plumbing fixtures. My father taught me how to do electrical wiring and roofing. I went to college for Interior Design but didn’t feel it was my niche. I started working in the insurance industry, which was not a fit either. In 1996 I saw an ad in the newspaper, yes, a newspaper ad. The ad was for a secretarial position at a millwork company. During my interview, I mentioned I could read architectural drawings, had a CDL Class B license, and could drive a manual transmission. I could also type and knew QuickBooks. I was hired! After a year, I approached the owner and told him I was bored and wanted to do something more challenging. He handed me a copy of a drawing he was pricing and told me to come up with a cost for the work. When we were both done with our estimates, the cost delta was about 1 percent. He gave me the opportunity to be an estimator. In 2009 an independent estimating firm hired me and taught me about all the other construction trades.
Tell me about your role.
I work mainly on Construction Management Projects. My position entails setting up the project, assigning division sections to our estimating team, reviewing takeoffs, and bringing them all together in the final estimate. When each level of the estimate is complete and reviewed, the State submission Uniformat forms and Ineligible worksheet are completed. After the final estimate is completed, I convert the estimate into bid packages for the preconstruction managers. I have done a few General Construction estimates as well.
What’s most exciting/fulfilling about your role?
I enjoy helping the project team maintain the budget and seeing the project completed successfully.
How does the company support you in your role?
O&G is a great company to work for. They offer training, support, and constant recognition for work well done.
What’s your advice for other women looking to enter the construction industry?
Never let anyone, including yourself, tell you that you cannot do a certain job. Always work in a position that makes you happy and stimulates your mind.