Finding the perfect degree
In 2014, Polowy chose MSU to play basketball.
“I wanted to be a Lady Bear,” she said. “Missouri State let me play the game I love, while preparing me for a successful professional life.”
In high school, Polowy discovered interests in engineering and pharmacy. However, these fields lacked the human interaction she desired in her career.
Polowy found the perfect degree option for her passions. Mechanical Engineering Technology allowed her to build on natural strengths.
“My brain enjoys numbers, estimates and design,” she said. “But I’m also a communicator, problem solver and mover.”
After receiving her master’s degree in project management in spring 2018, Polowy accepted a job offer from Brinkman Constructors.
“Being a student-athlete really prepared me,” she said. “I got a high quality degree while learning skills that employers deem valuable.”
Polowy started in the St. Louis corporate office, mainly working on pre-construction. Soon after starting, she was assigned a unique project.
“Within a year, I received a dual brand KMG Hotels project in Kansas City. It is very unique to be assigned a project like this so early in your career,” said Polowy.
She moved to Kansas City, Missouri as soon as they broke ground.
An anomaly in her field
Polowy is the center peg to a moving wheel. Her typical work week is ever-changing.
Her days involve training, presentations, job visits, subcontractor meetings and coordination meetings. She also spends time each day on the job site.
Polowy’s experience as a student athlete has easily translated to her career.
Basketball allowed her to build on qualities like teamwork, time management, work ethic and a drive for success.
“It’s a huge team. Everyone involved in a project has different skills and jobs,” she said. “It’s my job to coordinate and get everyone working together in sequence and synchronize. I’m like one of the coaches of this team.”
Polowy is an anomaly in a male-dominated field.
“The ratio is quite surprising,” she said. “Sometimes I’ll look around and realize I’m the only woman in the room.”
There are now a total of four women in Kansas City and St. Louis.
Making a beautiful impact
In addition to being her passion, Polowy’s job is rewarding in other ways.
“My job directly impacts the community by adding tangible value,” Polowy said. “We are building things for people and communities to enjoy.”
Although projects take a long time to reach completion, she enjoys seeing her team use their individual talents to create something beautiful.
“It’s satisfying to see a project start on paper and come to life,” Polowy said.
In August, she will get to walk through the doors of her first completed project.
“I want to get better every day,” she said. “I want to learn, create positive change and keep leaping forward in my career.”