This article is one in a series of conversations with women leaders in the construction industry. Click here for past conversations.
Andree Yaap has worked in the construction industry for 23 years, including the past six years with Bethesda, Maryland-based Clark Construction Group, where she is a preconstruction executive for the Mid-Atlantic region. In this role, she works with internal teams, clients, design partners and trade contractors to coordinate the planning, execution, design management, scheduling and cost management of projects.
Here, Construction Dive talks with Yaap (pictured above, right) about what led her to choose a career in construction and some of her favorite projects.
What led you to choose construction for your career?
I graduated with a degree in civil engineering and consider myself both a problem-solver and a "people person", so construction seemed like the perfect fit for me. I was right!
The construction industry is exciting, challenging, and rewarding. Each day is different than the last, and there is never a dull moment. The industry requires constant problem-solving and collaboration to deliver on our projects successfully.
There's also something indescribable about seeing others benefit from the projects we build.
What are a few of the projects you've most enjoyed working on and why?
I have the opportunity to work on some of the Mid-Atlantic region's most complex healthcare projects as part of my role. Last year, I was part of the team that delivered the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center project. From inception, we had a great plan in place and ultimately turned over the facility to our client ahead of schedule despite the impacts of COVID-19. The project is a game-changer for the region and brings much-needed healthcare to the Prince George's County community.
Another project I've been fortunate enough to work on is the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Medical/Surgical Pavilion project. It is on a constrained site on an active university and healthcare campus in Washington, D.C. Due to its location, our team worked closely with project stakeholders during project development to evaluate ways to manage the flow of students, patients, and visitors, and minimize disruptions to the neighborhood.
One solution our team came up with was to prefabricate elements off site, including 156 bathroom pods. Last month, our team installed the first bathroom pods at the hospital. It was great to see all of our hard work come to fruition.
What advice would you give to young women considering construction as a career?
"When opportunity knocks, swing that door wide open!"
I tell the young people I work with to view their careers as a "jungle gym" instead of a ladder. It's important to seek out and run to opportunities that will help develop skills that you can take across titles and roles.
My philosophy is that the more experiences you can get along your journey, the better off you will be when you arrive at the destination.