Kate Karwowski, a construction management graduate student who works in the industry, shares her story and how Rowan helped her in her career.
Kate Karwowski is a graduate student in the construction management program. She is currently working with Churchill Construction Engineers, where she helps supervise construction projects, works with inspectors to ensure they have all the proper equipment and staff, and helps see each project through from inception to completion. She had previously graduated from Rowan in 2015 with a degree in economics, and later decided to return to school to earn a degree in construction management as well. Kate says her choice to go back to Rowan was easy. “I actually had gotten an ad on LinkedIn for a construction management program, I can’t remember the university. And I thought this would be great for me, I could definitely learn more about my field. And so I ended up Googling different universities that offer the program, and Rowan came up. I graduated from Rowan and I had a great experience there. If I was going to go anywhere, it was going to be Rowan, because it’s close to home and close to my heart.”
Rowan’s construction management program’s curriculum is entirely online, and Kate found that this was beneficial to her because of her schedule. “Although the classes are online, it is designed for people who are currently working in the field. For me personally, I work a full time job. I have two children. And every week there’s different assignments that are due so you have an entire week to get those things done, whether it be one written assignment or a few discussion questions or quizzes. I always find time to get work completed. It’s very much set up for people to be able to fit into their already busy personal and work schedules to make sure that they can still learn as much as possible and get the work completed on time.”
She also credits a lot of her success to her experience at Rowan: “If somebody would have told me that when I graduated, that I would be working construction, I wouldn’t believe them at all. I actually started out here as a proposal coordinator. And I had no idea what a proposal was, I had no idea what engineers do. But luckily, I had a great support system here. They taught me everything that I know.”
As far as her experience goes in the field, Kate had some highlights to share: “My favorite part about working in construction is watching an idea or a drawing come to life. It’s something that is incredible to see happen right in front of your face, you know, from anything as small as a kitchen remodel to a shopping center being built, to bridges being built over rivers. It’s just an amazing thing to see because you can look at a piece of paper, and you can have an idea, but to watch that actually come to life is spectacular. And all the different pieces that go into it, from something as small as a screw and a bolt to something as large as a beam. It’s just an incredible experience to be able to watch that happen.”
Finally, Kate leaves some encouraging words for current students looking to make their impact on the world through their program at Rowan: “I would say the biggest mark I want to have on the industry is to just let people know that it doesn’t matter where you come from, it doesn’t matter what you’ve been through, you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to. I never thought I’d work in construction. And never thought I’d work in an engineering office. I definitely did not see that as my life plan. But that’s what was given to me. And I felt like it was fate, it was meant to be.”
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Story by: Connor Bicknell, senior communication studies major