What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Spain I get so involved with my work that I tend to take it personally. Learning not to has been an effort.
Vacca Staying positive during downturns. Rethinking what you are doing and where you are going.
Crawford One of my biggest challenges today is staying abreast of new technologies. Life is getting more and more complicated, and there are great tools to help you—except that the tools themselves are complicated, too!
Kudzia Most of the guys are good to me, but some have made it very difficult, not just sex harassment or even bullying but just making things hard for me—a "she doesn't deserve to be here" kind of thing. Once I start working, though, they realize I'm there to work, not there to flirt or file a sex harassment suit. I'm there to earn my keep.
Bajoria Starting my own practice in the middle of my career was tough. It was an act of profound optimism and keeping the faith. It was a lot of cold calls, networking, calling developers. Resourcefulness was something I learned fast.
Bauer A great bridge engineer I know told me that you have to be strong to survive adversity. He was an immigrant who came here in World War II, and he had to overcome a lot. One way to do that is to develop your mental strengths. There are many things in life that might cause you to say, "I can't take it anymore," but you have to treat it like a blip. You know the saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you strong"? It actually works.
What frustrates you most about your job?
Spain People with the attitude that the end justifies the means of getting work done. Also, subcontractors that don't perform their scope in a safe manner.
Vacca Not being able to generate enough money to pour back into the business to help grow it.
Crawford What I refer to as the yucky stuff—dealing with administrative activities that don't advance projects, help clients or develop staff.