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Melissa Blanchard is a Senior Project Coordinator with EllisDon who always had an interest in details and unique buildings.
“I actually wanted to be a painter. I got into this line of work by taking a drafting class in high school, which didn’t prepare me for how it really is in the real world, but I liked the details in the buildings, and I found it intriguing how buildings came about with so much detail put into them.”
When she did drafting in high school, she got the opportunity to work at an architect’s office as a co-op student, which led her to choose a college career path in architectural technology.
During college, she did a co-op with EllisDon and enjoyed it so much she wanted to stay on full time and was thrilled when they hired her. “They’re a really great company to work for.”
As a woman, Melissa has faced some obstacles in her career in construction.
“Not all people are accepting of it. And I have worked with a few people like that during the projects I’ve worked on, but I’ve learned to ignore the comments or just try to show that I’m just as knowledgeable as the other workers on that project.”
While Melissa didn’t have a specific mentor, she said that she has a team of people and everyone is essentially a mentor for her to ask questions and learn new things as every project has different challenges.
When it comes to the most interesting part about her job, she said every job is different, but she enjoys the walk-throughs the most.
“It’s neat to be able to be the first ones to see the building complete and walk through it. It’s almost the same feeling as building a home and being proud of the finished product and to see people enjoying it.”
As for confidence in construction, Melissa said there wasn’t one specific thing she did to help build hers. “The only thing I could do was to gain experience over time.”
While the job can be stressful, Melissa says it’s enjoyable when you have a full team and great coworkers with you. “Sometimes you will need to put in extra hours to get things done for certain deadlines. This job requires you think outside of the box and to work with clients.”
Melissa suggests getting used to spreadsheets as they’ve been really helpful for her when it comes to tracking purposes, so make sure you practice your Excel skills if you’re interested in working in construction!
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