Anniversary Spotlight–John Olsen

Senior Estimator John Olsen is celebrating 20 years at Alberici this month. In honor of this milestone, we asked him to share some thoughts about his experiences at Alberici.

PhotoIn your time at Alberici, which project was your favorite and why?

My favorite project was the River 7000 Project - Selma Plant for Buzzi Unicem. This project was a wet to dry process conversion at an existing cement plant. It involved difficult excavation in rock, complex concrete placement, steel erection of multiple structures of which included a 400’-0 Preheater Tower, installation of 5 stage twin string pre-calcyner system, 2 prototype mills, an 18’-0 diameter x 212’-0 rotary kiln, clinker cooler and a myriad of other equipment and material handling systems. The new process line was commissioned just shy of 35 months from the start of construction. Being involved in the estimate/award process as well as being a part of the on-site management team was extremely fulfilling. Not only were we able to overcome a multitude of challenges but we also successfully juggled the many moving parts associated with the project- all on a relatively small footprint.

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

I enjoy having the opportunity to take an Owner’s concept/design and assist in herding it through the entire project delivery process - from a request for proposal, through the design/estimate development process, to award negotiations, to subsequent procurement/contract issuance activities and finally to on-site management and commissioning. Seeing pages of paper come to life is the ultimate reward.

You’re a Certified Professional Constructor. Can you tell us about that certification and how it’s helped you in your career?

This certification is offered through the American Institute of Constructors and consists of passing an 8 hour comprehensive examination which tests candidates on their overall understanding of the project management and delivery process. Certification benefits all parties involved in the construction industry. The Owner receives assurance that their projects will be managed more effectively; they can use it as a means to pre-screen potential contractors; and Owners know that their contractor management team will maintain the highest level of professionalism. For an Employer, it serves as an independent assessment of an employee’s skills and knowledge; improves marketability to clients; and it provides assurance that employees will continue to hone their skills through the required Continuing Professional Development program (32 CPD hours in a 2 year cycle). For the Certified Constructor, it provides international recognition of construction management skills and knowledge; it is an analysis of individual strengths and weaknesses; enhances the Constructor image as a professional to their employer, their clients and the public; and it provides a marketable credential that sets you apart.

You’ve worked in a number of different markets in your time at Alberici (Energy, Industrial Process, Food & Beverage, Mining, Building). Have you enjoyed that diversity of experience? How has that breadth of experience influenced you?

I’ve very much enjoyed the diversity of experience. Exposure to multiple markets has offered a unique perspective into various processes and types of construction. Gaining insight into a broad array of means and methods has provided invaluable knowledge and experience to take forward to future projects.

What do you like most about working at Alberici?

The family atmosphere and corporate values/philosophies are aligned with my own ideologies. As an Alberici employee, I aspire to build trust and personify experience and maturity while being energetic and open to new ideas. I also try to display confidence and a can-do attitude while showing passion for our work. The family atmosphere and corporate values in tandem with the extremely talented individuals employed here set Alberici apart and places them on the highest bar.

What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting in the construction industry?

Have a positive attitude; display a quiet confidence in your abilities; acquire knowledge from experience and learn from mistakes (they will be made); be flexible in your approach; build relationships and foster them with honesty, integrity and reliability; seek a mentor and be a “sponge”; and last but not least, aspire to be great!

Top 5 Tips for Maximizing Career Fair Success

It’s career fair season, and our Employee Services team is sharing their top 5 tips to help you maximize your success at your college career fair.


1. Come prepared. Prior to attending the career fair, review the list of employers who will be present, and invest time researching organizations that interest you. Doing so will allow you to ask focused and specific questions, which demonstrates a genuine interest in the organization. You will also want to bring many copies of your resume to submit to employers.

2. First impressions are everything. Approach company representatives and engage them in conversation. Extend your hand, say "hello" and welcome them to your school. Have your resume ready to give to the employer, and be prepared to talk about your career interests and your academic and extracurricular experiences.

3. Dress appropriately. We recommend students wear professional attire to career fairs.

4. Respect employers' materials and sample items. Some employers bring large quantities of print materials or "giveaways" clearly intended for students to take.  Other employers bring a few copies of print materials, sample products, etc. to use as displays at their tables.  Always check with employers before taking materials from their tables.

5. Be courteous. In addition to representing yourself, you also represent your department and your university. Employers are watching the way you behave at career fairs, which can help (or hurt) not only your personal potential employment opportunities, but also those of other members of your university community.

Good luck with your career fair experiences this fall, and we hope to meet you on campus. Check out our fall career fair schedule here.

National Payroll Week

This week is National Payroll Week, and to celebrate this occasion, we’re shining the spotlight on the payroll team that ensures paychecks are processed accurately and on-time, every time.


 Faces of Payroll

Going beyond the numbers, we talked to two of the women who work magic in the payroll department, Melissa Brickler and Theresa Hess. National-Payroll-Week_thumb4

What do you like best about working in payroll?  

Theresa - I like being a part of the team.  We are not on the project sites working side by side with the project staff; however, we are in constant contact with the project sites to make sure we get the employees accurate paychecks.

Melissa - There are two things I really enjoy about being in payroll - working closely with so many different amazing people and being able to help solve any payroll related problems that crop up on the jobsites. It’s our responsibility to get field guys paid as correctly and smoothly as possible so that Superintendents, Project Administrators and General Foreman aren’t tied up dealing with payroll issues when their time is better spent elsewhere.

What do you wish other departments knew about payroll? 

Melissa - I wish other departments realized just how much behind-the-scenes work went into “magically” processing one payroll check.

Theresa - There are a lot of moving parts to producing a single paycheck.  If even one of those parts stops it can make the process much more challenging.  We are constantly making updates to the system so the process appears seamless to the employee.

What do you like best about working with your department?         

Melissa - The best thing about our department is how well we work together as a team.  Any time we have an issue that needs to be handled quickly – everyone is willing to pitch in and help out.

Theresa - I work with a great group of people.  We have worked together for over 6 years, and all of us know what needs to be done and how to find a way to make it all happen.

Can you share a fun fact about yourselves?

Theresa - I like numbers.

Melissa – And ironically, I hate math.