During Women in Construction Week, we’re highlighting some of the amazing women who are at the heart of Eastman Cooke’s success.
Meet Isabelle Nguyen.
Isabelle is a Senior Estimator at the firm, bringing years of experience in estimating and project management. While working on a variety of construction projects, Isabelle oversees the conceptual process – from project development to preconstruction. She has been instrumental to the success of numerous build outs and renovation projects, and is a proud member of several professional organizations, including the National Association of Women In Construction (NAWIC), the American Institute of Constructors (AIC), and the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS).
Can you provide a glimpse into the Estimator position and some of the key responsibilities that accompany the job?
An Estimator’s role is to prepare bid packages and win projects. However, this is an oversimplification of what an Estimator does. The estimating position is multi-faceted; as a service, estimating is used as a marketing tool to demonstrate expertise and accomplishments by way of bid packages comprised of completed projects and resumes. From a sales perspective, estimating provides a proposal with trade breakdown to show transparency and identify what the clients are buying. The driving factors for any project award are cost, schedule, and quality.
What are the steps taken toward winning a bid?
I set it in motion by preparing a bid package to showcase the company’s product. The cost of construction must be aligned with the client’s budget. Always ensure that you’ll be delivering a quality product, and that all deliverables meet the client’s expectations. In the event that we are awarded the project, I lay the foundation for success by onboarding the project team and selecting the right subcontractors and vendors from the get-go. We deliver a successful project by staying ahead of the curve.
As an Estimator, how important is the leadership factor?
Since a construction project is a team effort, I am the first person in a relay race, and I initiate the momentum and pace for the project and ensure that when I pass the baton to my project team, they do not drop it and can continue toward the finish line. When an Estimator drops the baton or trips along the way, it places the burden on the project team to overcome obstacles to be successful.
Who are some notable clients that you’ve worked with during your ten-year career?
I’ve had the pleasure of working with American Express, Converse, Tourneau, FedEx, and Columbia University, and more recently (with Eastman Cooke) – Jaguar Land Rover, New York University, Greystone, Family and Children’s Association (FCA), Central Assisted Living, as well as an extensive array of healthcare clients. I look forward to many more opportunities to come with my incredible ECA team!
Finally, in a nutshell, why do you like working in construction?
I love working in construction because it calls for honesty and integrity with every detail. Knowledge may come from books and reading, but quality work comes from experience.