Sabrina Pavlova’s habit of making connections and seeking unique opportunities has opened countless doors in the field of construction management.
She recently received the Women in the Mechanical Industry scholarship of $5,000 for her dedication to the industry at the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) convention in San Diego, California.
In addition, Pavlova and the Missouri State University technology and construction management team attended the MCAA student competition. They presented a proposal to revitalize the Lake Placid Olympic center. The team won second place and received an additional $5,000 in prize money.
Q & A with Sabrina Pavlova
What got you interested in construction management?
I didn’t know that construction management was a career path until I started going to MSU. My major at the time was interior design, and the program required students to take a certain number of construction management courses to graduate. After taking some of the required classes, I realized my passion for the industry and decided to switch my major.
You’re president of the Missouri State Women in Construction organization, vice president of the Construction Club and more. What do you enjoy about getting involved?
My favorite part about being involved is getting to know and socialize with new people. Being a part of several organizations gives me the opportunity to get to know a variety of individuals who I otherwise may not have met.
What have you enjoyed most about your time at Missouri State?
My favorite part about Missouri State has to be the number of opportunities I’ve had to travel and participate in student competitions. This past school year, I had the opportunity to go to an MCAA student summit held in Arizona. I also got to travel to Nebraska to participate in the Associated Schools of Construction Region IV competition.
I went to San Diego over spring break for the MCAA convention, not only to receive my scholarship, but to also compete in the student competition. Soon, I’ll be headed to Texas for an Associated General Contractors of America conference.
How do you navigate your work and studies within a male-dominated field?
That’s a tough question because I have never felt as though I was being singled out for being a woman. Oddly enough, I would say that compared to being part of a non-male dominated program, the construction management program has been very inclusive.
At work, I am the only female PM/estimator, but I have not felt as though they treat me differently because of it.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I will start working full-time as a project manager/estimator for a local mechanical contractor named Springfield Engineering Company. I am currently working as an intern there and have had the opportunity to work /bid on several multi-million-dollar projects.
What are your long-term career goals?
Long term I have two career aspirations – work as a virtual design and construction specialist creating 3D renderings of potential construction projects and become CEO of a construction company.
What tips would you have for a first-year student interested in pursuing construction management?
A big part of the industry is not necessarily WHAT you know, but WHO you know. Show up to class, go to construction club events and make connections.