A Day in the Life of a Project Manager: Matt Frey
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a member of the Miron team? Below is some insight into what makes our team members tick.
Matt Frey | Project Manager
Q: How long have you been a project manager?
A: Since the summer of 2011. I worked onsite as a PM intern on the Wisconsin Veterans Home Skilled Nursing Facility. I continued to work part time through my senior year of college, and was brought on full time at Miron in May of 2012.
Q: What did your training/education entail?
A: I served six years as a Navy Seabee Builder, four years at UW-Stout, where I received my Bachelor of Science in Construction. I also received great working knowledge by spending my first couple of years on site with project superintendents. In addition, each day serves as a new challenge and another opportunity for a learning experience.
Q: What time does a normal workday start for you? What time does a normal workday end?
A: Typically, I shoot to be to work by 5:30/6:00 a.m. An early start helps me to collect my thoughts, gear up for the day, and have some time in quiet prior to the jobsites gearing up.
Q: What are the constants of your workday (what are things that always happen)?
A: To build, we need to communicate. There are many internal and external components that need to progress forward to have a successful project. My typical day is filled with phone calls, emails, meetings, and quick huddles in an effort to communicate the common goal to succeed.
Q: What are the variables of your workday (what are things that change from day-to-day or project-to-project)?
A: Everyday there is a new challenge to overcome, some more difficult than others. One of the most exciting things about construction, is projects are inherently evolving as they march toward the finish line, which brings different excitement each day. No two days are ever the same in the construction industry.
Q: How would you describe your job to a five-year-old? What are your responsibilities?
A: Great question. I have a four-year-old daughter and I tell her my job is to help all of the people on the construction site to do their jobs well. In her mind, this equates to me being an operator in a crane, so I might need to explain a little better.
Q: What kind of equipment and materials do you use every day?
A: The construction industry is aggressively marching toward the use of more and more technology. I use programs like Bluebeam, Navisworks, CMiC, BIM 360, Primavera, and Microsoft Office. What’s great is that all of these programs are available on iPads and iPhones, which affords mobility and access in the field. That said, to me nothing beats a good pad of paper with a nice pen.
Q: What kind of equipment or materials do you wish you had that haven’t been invented yet?
A: A multiplier or cloning machine. There are a lot of days when I could use a few more of me.
Q: What was the most challenging thing you’ve learned for your job?
A: Everyone has different motives and goals related to the project or specific tasks. As a project manager, you need to be confident, respectful to others, and specific to provide solutions to the team that best achieve the project or task goals.
Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: The best part of my job is to construct buildings/places for others that will last well beyond my time here on Earth. When constructing people’s dreams, you become a part of history. In my eyes, that’s a great privilege and an honor.
Growing up, my mom would take me to construction sites to watch the equipment and people creating these awesome structures. I would watch for as long as she would let me, then play for hours in the sandbox at home with my Tonka trucks. Construction has always sparked my curiosity and I’m thankful to be part of this industry.
Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?
A: Time management. There are many moving parts from the field to the office and there needs to be a great deal of focus on prioritizing each task to keep things moving forward and put closure on issues.
Q: What do you wish you’d known before you started in the construction industry?
A: The hours and time commitment. Our industry definitely takes a lot of energy, and just because the jobsite closes at 3:30 p.m., that doesn’t mean my job is complete.
Q: What is something about your job that would surprise someone outside of your industry?
A: How vital communication, coordination, and pre-planning are to a successful project.
Q: How has your field changed over the years?
A: There has definitely been an uptick in the use of technology. Our industry is also moving at a rapid rate in terms of change, and the pace of construction also continues to accelerate. Everyone is pushing for construction projects to be completed more quickly, but while we’re expected to build in less time, we’re also faced with construction, as a whole, becoming more complex.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add or any advice you’d like to give to someone who is considering going into your field?
A: If you liked playing with Legos growing up, then this is the industry for you.
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Nice insight into education and experience needed to be a project manager.