Career Path – Sovathya Sar, Program Engineer at Skanska

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Tell us about yourself.

My name is Sovathya Sar and I am a Program Engineer at Skanska within the SIS department, the Owner’s Project Management (OPM) group. I graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology in 2017 with a degree in Civil Engineering.

Tell us about your role as a Program Engineer at Skanska.

As the OPM, I act as the liaison for the owner, architect and the construction manager. As an owner’s representative, I act in the best interest of the owner during all phases of construction. The OPM’s role is to typically monitor the following:

1. The design development process to ensure the project is what the owner wants to achieve
2. Overall project budget
3. The bidding process
4. Construction-related activities such as change orders, change requests etc
5. Project close-out and occupancy

What advice would you give to students interested in majoring in Civil Engineering?

I feel that students who wish to major in Civil Engineering must do their research and understand their role in the industry and what other possibilities they have available to them. As a student who majored in Civil Engineering, I realized that halfway through my academic career that design work was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my career and I wounded up on the construction side of the industry.

What advice would you give to students looking for a co-op?

For students who are looking for co-ops, be open. For the first internship that students go for, I feel that students should just go for anything that may seem interesting to them. A co-op is a way for students to experience the industry from a perspective they will not have in school, and from there it may end up changing their views on what they want in a future career. I worked in the public sector for one of my internships and decided that was not what I wanted to do with myself and ended up in the private sector.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years, I hope to be an assistant project manager or even a project manager for a large Massachusetts School Building Authority project.

What inspires you?

I have always wanted to be that person who could say “I worked on that building” growing up. Thanks to my position at Skanska I have worked on multiple projects within the past few years of my career at Skanska as a co-op and a full-time.

If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?

If I had any one thing… I assume I’d have my phone just so I could document everything either with a daily journal or photos, so I could enjoy it all. My second item would probably be my Nintendo Switch honestly! Being able to play video games on the go has been an amazing thing for me.

What is your favorite place in Boston?
My favorite place in Boston is probably Long Wharf. I’ve always been a fan of the ocean so being able to sit there and take it all in is very relaxing.

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