PM William Serafin tells his story of how he got into construction, from a young boy working with his dad to Project Manager at March.
It was clear from early on in my life that I would probably end up working in the construction field.
If your father was a custom home builder, his two brothers were general contractors and your grandfather also was a builder, the odds might be pretty good that you would end up in the construction field, too. The path started very early with me at the age of five. My dad took me to the construction site and I was so excited and proud to be a part of that experience. The house he was building was roughed out in the inside.
My curious-self decided to walk away from him over to a chimney hole that was cut out on the second floor—and I fell straight through the chimney! Miraculously, after falling two stories landing on concrete, I was not badly hurt, just bruises and it could have been a lot worse. I learned the importance of safety on the job at an early age.
This incident didn’t stop me from working with my dad. During my teen years, I worked summers framing out houses with him. He wanted me to work with him full time when I was done with high school, but my mom convinced him that a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Management would be beneficial.
During college and after I graduated, I worked in many different jobs such as a laborer, rough and finish carpenter, estimator, scheduler, construction supervisor, custom-home builder, assistant project manager, health club manager and even a mausoleum salesperson (an interesting story for another time). I worked in New York City as a Project Manager for five years, commuting between projects and home. It was like my version of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”! I have also worked on and managed residential, retail, medical, pharmaceutical, industrial, schools and interior fit-outs in New York City.
There is no set road map to becoming a Project Manager. As you can see I have experience in many facets of construction, but ultimately I believe my best path was to be a Project Manager.
A few of the attributes I believe makes a good Project Manager are as follows: clear and effective communicator, problem solving skills, being able to prioritize activities, able to delegate, knowing the importance of teamwork, optimistic and of course being calm under pressure.
Currently, I am working on two projects for Capital Senior Housing. They are senior assisted-living facilities. The first is located in Shrewsbury, New Jersey—completion by end of this year and also Greenburgh, New York—completion by summer 2019. (Click for More Residential Projects by March)
I feel fortunate and blessed that my road in Project Management has led me to March Construction. We are a big family and we all help out one another and work as a team. We are given every opportunity to succeed and that, I will always be grateful for.
Article by William Serafin, Project Manager at March Construction