Rhonda Mitchell, CIT, Trustee
My entire extended family has been in construction for as long as I can remember. I’ve worked in the design and construction department at UC San Diego for almost 20 years. Prior to that I was self-employed in the private sector in both construction support services and the development end. It is then that I studied the industry at University of California, and later with the NAWIC Education Foundation (NEF).
I've been the Contracts Manager for the Capital Program Management department (previously Facilities Design & Construction) at UC San Diego since 2007. Our department is responsible for managing all executive design, consulting, and construction contracts for the university campus and medical centers with a capital improvement program of approximately $3.5 billion.
What I want students to know: Our industry is such a fascinating one; it is challenging and rewarding, and the sky is the limit. There is a strong need for interested, talented individuals in construction management, as well as all of the construction trades involved in creating the final building project. Salaries are very good, even for entry-level positions, and there are advancement opportunities in both the private and public sectors. It’s a profession you can feel proud to be in, with sound comraderies and the satisfaction of being a part of an important place and seeing it evolve. Although the construction industry has been predominately male-oriented, women have carved and paved important inroads into all levels of construction; this will continue to grow and be the norm. I have seen attitudes towards women in the business change favorably over the past decade, and I highly recommend female students (or any student) consider construction as a career. There really isn’t anything like it!