Our newest Team Member, Teonna Davis is a Project Engineer and recent graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Little did she know, but her journey to the Construction industry and Holland Construction Services started several years ago when she had a chance meeting with our President, Mike Marchal. We sat down with Teonna to get to know her a little better and understand what led her to Construction Management.
HCS: How long have you been here at Holland Construction Services?
Teonna: I started in September as an intern, and a few weeks ago, I was promoted to a full-time Project Engineer.
HCS: Congrats! Was your plan all along to intern and then transition into a full-time role here?
Teonna: I definitely planned to do the internship. I wanted to get a feel for the commercial construction industry, and then, hopefully land a full-time position.
HCS: Was engineering or construction management always on your radar as you were deciding what to study in college?
Teonna: My degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is in Industrial Technology Management and Applied Engineering. The program offered four subcategories, and I chose Construction Management. I originally wanted to go into real estate. I was also interested in interior design and architecture, but construction and development have always been my passion. I just needed to figure out exactly what I wanted to focus on.
HCS: Where does your interest in construction come from?
Teonna: When I was younger, we moved into a new house, and the neighborhood was still under construction. There were houses being built everywhere and I found it interesting that one day there could be a big pile of dirt, and then all of a sudden, I would be catching a bus to school, and there's a big, huge house. I like to draw, so I would sit outside and try to draw my neighbor's house.
HCS: Do you have any of those old drawings?
Teonna: I do!
HCS: How did you first become aware of Holland Construction Services?
Teonna: I graduated from Belleville West in 2018. While in school there, I was in the Belleville CEO program, which is a program for high school students who want to be entrepreneurs. Holland Construction Services is a sponsor of the Belleville CEO program, and that's where I met Mike Marchal. At the time, I didn't know that I was going to make Construction my career path, but when I graduated from college, I looked him up on LinkedIn, sent him an old photo of the day he spoke to our class and expressed my interest in working at Holland.
HCS: Wow, that's a great story! What projects are you working on right now?
Teonna: Oh, right now, I kind of dibble and dabble with helping everyone. I'm working at East Side Heart and Home with Garrison and Nick. I'm also working on some healthcare projects. I'm kind of flying around everywhere these days.
HCS: It sounds like you're involved in quite a few projects right now. Is there a certain segment of the industry that is of specific interest to you?
Teonna: At first, I thought my passion was going to be in residential construction, but I'm interested in learning everything and getting my feet wet with several different types of projects. I'm early in my career, and I want to learn it all.
HCS: What did you like about the program at Arkansas-Pine Bluff?
Teonna: The teachers. Arkansas-Pine Bluff is a small school, so all of the construction classes were taught by one person, and his name was Mr. O.C. Duffy Jr. He definitely made a big impact on my career.
HCS: What would you recommend to a current student who is considering construction as a career path?
Teonna: Don't limit yourself to one thing. Take time to figure out what segment of the industry you're interested in but go out and find opportunities that allow you to get a feel for construction. Find your passion and figure out what's the right route for you. Get out there.
HCS: What do you like to do for fun?
Teonna: I like to sew. I love fashion and clothes and everything in between. I also like to work out and go to the gym.
HCS: Where do you see your career going over the next several years?
Teonna: I have my entire career planned out. I wanted to start as a project engineer and then move into project management. I'm also getting my real estate license, and I eventually want to go into land development. Beyond that, I will own a construction firm.
HCS: That's awesome. Will you focus on residential or commercial?
Teonna: Right now. I'm loving the commercial side. So, I don't know yet.
HCS: We know you'll do great, no matter what you decide. Thanks, Teonna!