Women in Construction Week: Caley Larson
Growing up in a construction family, Caley Larson told her dad, a long-time superintendent at Sellen, that one day she would work with him – a goal she achieved in 2012 when she started as a receptionist. Over the last seven years, Caley has charted her own path, continuously learning more and more about the industry and receiving her Construction Management certificate from the University of Washington. Today, as a project engineer, she plays an important role on some of Sellen’s largest projects.
What made you want to go into the construction industry?
“When I started here at Sellen, I didn’t know that I was going to be starting a career in construction. I was going to nursing school at the time, but working here, the more I learned, the more interested I was. I think there’s a lack of knowledge and understanding of what the construction industry can offer – not everyone understands the work behind the scenes that’s required to make it all go smoothly.”
How has your role expanded in your seven years with the company?
“After I worked my way into a lead administrative role, I started to have a desire to go out into the field to understand more about what happens on a project. I took on the field coordinator role to determine my interest and gauge if I wanted to go to school for Construction Management. Once I got started in the role, I loved it! I earned my Construction Management certificate from UW, graduated and became a field engineer.”
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
“Working with the subcontractors to ensure that the product is finished on time and within the cost that the client has allocated. Once it’s finished and the client gets exactly what they’ve requested – that’s the most rewarding part.”
Growing up in the industry, how do you think it’s changed over time?
“Technology has gained a big role in the construction industry. It’s made us faster and more efficient since everything is submitted electronically. We’re able to get the changes out to the field as soon as they’re approved – it’s instant and everyone has what they need. It’s a lot easier than waiting for something to print and then running it out to the field.”
“I think Sellen has also changed over the years and has a stronger emphasis on safety and safe techniques. As someone in the field and with other loved ones in the field, it’s comforting to me that we operate as safe as possible.”
What’s the best part of your job?
“Working with my team – this industry is a team sport. We’re all working together and if one succeeds, we all succeed.”
What do you enjoy most about working at Sellen?
“The people. The environment that Sellen creates is very friendly and everyone is approachable. There’s not one person that isn’t willing to help and you work with really nice people that want you to succeed. Sellen also provides great mentors that will help you to create your path to success.”