Meet Larisa Hauser, whose career path has led her from Wall Street to Seattle, where she manages construction projects and relocations for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. For each project, Hauser creates and manages a comprehensive plan and budget, then manages it to completion, working and coordinating with a plethora of folks, including electricians, movers, IT workers, painters, furniture vendors, contractors, architects, carpenters and many other trade people.
Here, Hauser answers questions about her work.
What do you do? I am a project construction manager who works with companies to manage their tenant improvements, construction needs, relocations and reassessments of their office space. This entails understanding the culture of a company — or the culture they are striving to create though their environments.
Describe your career path. I started my career in New York City in the stock market, having a penchant for excitement. This eventually led to me to many years of working in the Seattle technology industry, which oddly enough, opened the door to the construction world for me. Learning to work in a volatile stock market then moving to the crazy days of the startup tech world truly helped me thrive in the construction world, as the skills for problem-solving, while working under major stress and constantly wearing different hats, brought me to the place of construction that I love today.
What’s a typical day like? Hmm, typical day. Let’s see, wake up at 6 a.m. (Did I mention I’m not a morning person?) Get on a conference call with either clients, attorneys, architects or other industry vendors, followed by several meetings either in Seattle, Bellevue or any city that I have project going. Then heading back late in the day to my office, answer emails, send updates to each client, make sure everyone knows what the tasks for the next day/week are and send pertinent recaps of the day. And then start all over again.
What’s the best part of the job? The great relationships I get along the way, along with the best feeling of accomplishment at the end of a well-managed project. It truly feels great when I see my clients so happy when their goals become a reality! I genuinely love my job; even the difficult parts still let me use my creative, critical-thinking skills.
What surprises people about what you do? My New York accent and small stature with a large voice (and laugh). That I’ve parachuted out of a Black Hawk helicopter. That I’m nice, even though I’m very straightforward and give honest feedback. That I work in extremely chaotic situations calmly. That I expect, and can find, the best in people, and have a generally positive outlook on life in this mad world we live in.