Women’s Speed Networking Event

Diversity in the Construction Management field is rapidly increasing, and the number of women involved with the profession is also on the rise. This means great things for the future of construction, as this has the potential to solve many current challenges related to skilled labor shortages and overall industry innovation.

To capitalize on this fact, on Wednesday, January 22nd, the Wentworth Construction Management Club (CM Club) held a networking event geared towards women who are currently pursuing a degree related to the built environment and/or Construction Management. The event was organized in part by Shawmut Design and Construction alongside the WIT CM Club student board. The purpose of the event was to bring women professionals onto campus to engage with current students and provide insight into the available career paths for CM professionals and day-to-day activities of various positions.

Overall, the event saw 9 regional/national companies in attendance with a total of 21 representatives from those companies!  The following companies were in attendance:

  1. Shawmut Design and Construction
  2. Sulllivan & McLaughlin Companies
  3. Lee Kennedy Construction
  4. Columbia
  5. Wayne Griffin
  6. Bond
  7. Chapman Construction
  8. CMC Design + Build
  9. Gilbane Building Company

The event was a huge success and was the first part of a series of scheduled “Women in Construction” events throughout the Spring 2020 semester. The following are some quotes from women students in attendance:

“The CM Women’s Speed Networking event was a very fun and empowering event. I felt inspired and enlightened interacting and connecting with these amazing women.


It was wonderful listening about each company and journeys to a Construction Management career. In addition, students had the opportunity to ask many questions and listen to their answers. I am really glad I attended, and I look forward to eventually be working alongside these women in the industry.”

  • Chaise Kakuk (WIT CM Class of ’23)


“This was my first time attending a networking event with the CM Club. Being one of the few girls in my major, it was truly inspiring and motivating to see how many established and successful women, many of whom got their education from Wentworth, were out there in the industry and happy to talk with us. Getting to hear about these women’s educational background and their day-to-day life in their position made me feel secure in my pursuit of a Construction Management degree at Wentworth. Having the chance to listen and learn more about the wide variety of job possibilities available made me hopeful and excited to see what future experiences and opportunities I will have at Wentworth and beyond. I was happy to have participated in such a useful event that helped to connect students with industry professionals.”

  • Justice Reardon (WIT CM Class of ’23)


“This event was one of my favorite club events that I have ever been a part of. I loved seeing how all the industry women came together to help give education and guidance to our young students. This event was very empowering and made me proud to be a part of this club and this school. I hope to see all these women again at the next event. I hope that one day I can come back to this school and continue to empower our young professionals the way these ladies had.”

  • Alexia Ralphs (WIT CM Class of ’20)


A Student Review – Greenbuild Intl. Conference in Chicago, IL

Takeaways from my trip to Chicago – written by Pawel Kaszynski

The Economic Value of Daylight and Views

During this session, I have learned about external factors that influence the price of a property. Among commonly known building class, number of floors, renovation, transportation accessibility and investor type, the presentation was mainly concentrated on an issue not widely discussed: daylight. The presenter based his explanation on showing how price can vary depending on height and localization in different parts of the New York City landscape… for instance, the fourth floor in Greenwich Village has a much different daylight autonomy than the fourth floor of a building in SoHo. Thus the different price. Moreover, the partakers could also learn what techniques architects are using to maximize the usage of the daylight coming through the windows in office buildings. At MIT, Prof. Reinhart summarized the presentation with information that corporations are willing to rent an office space and pay goodwill as high as 5% and residents 2-3% for an apartment with better daylight accessibility.


Green Bonds – A Way to Finance a Better Future or Just Greenwashing

During this session, I learned that a green bond is a bond specifically made to be used for climate or environmental projects. They are similar to traditional bonds in terms of deal structure, but they have different requirements for reporting. Any organization with bonding authority can issue green bonds. One of the most prominent organizations that have issued them is The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Toyota Financial Services. They are typically purchased by institutional investors, governments and corporate investors. Issuing a Green Bond can benefit a company among others by attracting new investors, getting positive publicity and access to capital for sustainability-related projects.


Steelcase Presents: Workplace Well-being

This session was sponsored by furniture manufacturing company – Steelcase. The presentation started by focusing attention on key information about the well-being of people in the working space… ie. only 2 in 5 employees are working at peak performance or that 67% of employees think about changing the job after returning from holiday or that only 44% of employees with poor well-being say they are satisfied with their jobs. In this education session, I mainly learned that improving employee’s well-being not only helps them to be healthier while also lowering healthcare costs, but it also helps them to be more productive, creative and innovative, and less likely to leave for a break, or what’s worse… a competitor. Therefore, I have learned how to design a workplace for well-being by understanding how to provide for choice and control for employees and providing a palette of place, posture, and presence.


Summary of the Conference

In my opinion, the Greenbuild Conference and Expo was a good investment in my education. During these three days, I learned not only about the financial aspects of building green but I also meet and discussed a couple of interesting ideas with working professionals and potential future co-op employers. In addition to that, I have also learned a lot about the availability of materials that can be used in construction from pioneering three leg foundations, to compressed carton facades, and innovative “living” green interiors.

This trip was also an excellent opportunity to discover the city during the nights after conferences. I also learned that Chicago has one of a kind two stories of roads, which help to keep the city clean and assist in reducing traffic, as well as from a construction standpoint, I learned about the most recognizable buildings in this town. This was all able to be accomplish on a very high level thanks to the knowledge and organization of Prof. Cribbs.

A Student Review of the Greenbuild International 2018 Conference

A review of three education sessions – written by Michael Iascone (CM Club Treasurer):

Mecho Presents: Industrial Design of Automated Shading Systems

Problem: Humans spend on average 90% of their lives indoors. Evolution hasn’t caught up and humans still need to spend time outdoors to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Natural light is what maintains our circadian rhythm which tells our brain when to be awake and when to get to sleep. Without natural light during the day, our eyes will be strained causing headaches, tiredness, and lack of productivity.

Solution: Mecho Shades innovates with the intention of bridging the gap between outside and inside. The basis of many designs is to help daylight reach as much space as possible. This space is called the daylight zone, and as a rule of thumb it is calculated by doubling the height of the window. The basis of Mecho’s design intent is to optimize the daylight to maintain comfort and productivity.

The design process starts with a sun/shadow study on the 3D models of the building. This model shows where crucial locations with too much or too little daylight. The special part of their process is how they automate the control of their shades. They place daylight sensors throughout the building that are connected to raise/lower, or open/close the shades. The sensors at windows measure exterior conditions such as brightness in foot-candles, this is then compared to the sensors at the work surfaces inside the building. If the ratio is too high, meaning it is much brighter outside, then the shades will partially block the daylight and the interior lights will increase brightness to create a balance and reduce eye strain. The opposite is also true on a darker cloudy day.


The Adventures of Permitting the World’s Greenest Building

When city workers sat down to establish a plan for their new city services building, they decided to set an example as a green city by taking on the Living Building Challenge. The Living Building Challenge is a rigorous green building certification process that requires the built environment to give more than it takes, using a flower as a metaphor. Since the idea is so new many of the extreme requirements of the challenge are unallowed by the building code. Obtaining permits for the projects was an incredible task that nearly shut the project down before it even started.

The biggest issue was with using composting toilets instead of standard ones with water to flush. The permitting department was concerned about the illnesses that could form as a result of using human waste for compost. To defend the use of the composting toilets the project team submitted the certification of the equipment and had to over-design the waste vent to include a UV light to kill any bacteria that may escape. This was all done with the help of the project team from the Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington. It was crucial to include experienced individuals in the process as these are all new concepts and drastic changes from standard building methods.

The key points in designing a permissible building, and getting the required permits was to get early involvement from all parties (city, code, manufacturer’s, certification agencies), accept risk and uncertainty, and to reference similar projects. If you can manage all the hard work up front, it can allow you to build a revolutionary building like this one under construction right now in Santa Monica. One that collects all its rainwater and treats it to be potable, reuse greywater for irrigation, has an on-site edible landscape, and one that can pass the rigorous Living Building Challenge.


Invisible Buildings: Why are we still talking to ourselves?

An invisible building is one that people spend time in everyday but never really pay much attention to its features and quality, or how that can affect them. People spend a majority of their time indoors, but most never take the time measure and correct the quality of the indoor environment that they spend every day in. The consequences can be serious in health and productivity. Proving that it will save money in the long run, and potentially make the building cheaper to operate. The easiest way to get started is to ask your landlord, boss, or yourself two simple questions; What are the CO2 levels in this building?, and What is its energy star score? They may not know the answers, but it will get them to look into it and maybe even get them to realize the importance.


Written by Michael Iascone (CM Club Treasurer)


How To Secure Your Dream Co-Op:


To Secure your Dream co-op:

  • A Polished Resume- At this point, between being a student at the #1 Construction Management program in the USA, and having the credentials to be accepted into Wentworth. Essentially all of us have the ability to create a very competitive resume. If you haven’t already I highly recommend sitting down with Janel Juba at Co-ops and Careers to create the resume employers will love. The hard part is done, now its time to take advantage of your accomplishments
  • A Nice Padfolio- While this one might seem small, having something nicer than a pile of papers such as a Wentworth padfolio while meeting possible employers can go a very long way. Remember that these people will depend on you to be a positive representative of their company, and appearance is a large part of that.
  • Attend the Job Fair- The job fair that is offered twice a year is, without a doubt, the BEST way to meet employers. The people you meet at the booth is a unique look into the company and can help to give you an idea of their culture.
  • A Solid Idea of What you Want- One of the first questions almost every employer will ask you is what kind of position you would want if you were hired. If you know what it is that you want, it can help you narrow down your searches.

What to bring to the office for your interview:

  • Another copy of your resume- Although they most likely will have it, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is forgetting to bring it. Having it printed on resume paper can also be a nice touch.
  • Padfolio/notepad- Taking notes during an interview is vital, not only does it make you look better, but taking notes will help you write a meaningful follow up email.
  • The right attitude- A huge part of the interview process is simply getting a first impression on each other, having a good attitude when answering questions and positive body language can make all the difference.

Your First Day/Field Walks

  • Office Shoes and Steel Toe Boots- In construction, you never know where the day might take you, especially your first day. Even though you may have an office job, employers very well may take you on a site for a variety of reasons. Have your gear ready because you’ll most likely need it.
  • Plenty of Water/Food- Its construction, you never will know what the day will bring. On hot days, almost nothing is more dangerous than not having enough water. Food is often forgotten when its your first day, you never know what site you will be on, what the demands are and what will be open around you. Trust me, I have been unprepared with this one before.
  • A notepad- On my first day this one was stressed to me by other employees, one of the most unprofessional things you can do is walk into a meeting empty handed. I was meeting with the president of a subcontractor on my last co-op and I witnessed someone get kicked out of the meeting by their president.
  • Anything that you think you might need- If you have a car and think it might come in handy, just bring it. It is always better to have something and not need it than to need it and not have it.


If anybody has any questions or concerns about their co-op or job search, please come and ask me. I would be happy to help.


Written by Austin Hoag (CM Club Operations Manager)

Austin Hoag



WIT Alumni Highlight – Mass Construction Consultants

In today’s post we focus on a Wentworth Alum, Joe Kelly (CM ’99) of Mass Construction Consultants who has released a new podcast about all things construction in Massachusetts and beyond. Topics include risk, project management, pre-con, real estate development, code, construction technology, and more, which should benefit and interest students in the Construction Management program.

One of the first guests featured was Mike Fallon, Chief Investment Officer of the Fallon Company who holds a Master of Science degree in Construction Management from Wentworth. He stopped by the Mass Construction Show and talked with Joe about all things real estate development, including how a developer assesses a project, macro and micro data analysis, the impact that construction cost has on product, how zoning precedent changes the structure of a deal, and what goes into a “pro forma.” They also talked about some demographic challenges that affect the construction labor market.  He answered the million-dollar question: If everybody needs Class B (affordable) real estate why do we keep building more Class A? For students interested in the new real estate concentration that Wentworth is offering, this episode is a must listen.

Mass Cons Consultants 1

The podcast features music by Sound Revolution, whose lead singer and guitarist Matt Fante is Vice President of Darante Construction in New York and also a Wentworth graduate (CM ’99).

Mass Cons Consultants 2

For any current Wentworth student preparing for a professional career in or related to the field of construction, MassConstruction.org offers content contributed by industry professionals who share their experiences and expertise to support one another’s growth; the goal is for all of us to be better at what we do. Have a listen to the show and a big shout out to Joe Kelly for his involvement with Wentworth and its Construction Management program, thank you!


Multi-Platform via Anchor


Written by Cam Neely (CM Club Secretary)