Prompt: 1. Envision yourself near the end of a fulfilling, lifelong career and you just published your autobiography. Share the title and introduction.
Please judge it as if you were a member in the office of admissions...
Any kind of criticism would be happily accepted...
510 floors of success!
That evening when my mom looked into my eyes and said "Son, I am proud to be your mom", my joy knew no bounds .It was the greatest moment of my life and I still remember and cherish every moment of it. The elation which I noticed in my parents eyes, made me feel, "Yes, I had accomplished the most worthwhile goal of my life, by becoming the leader of the team that had given the world, an engineering masterpiece, "The Cloud Nine Tower". Measuring a spellbinding 2111 meters above the ground, the Cloud Nine Tower is, by far, the tallest building in the world. And that day, i.e on 16th May,2045, at the inaugural party, I was awarded the title of "The Construction Manager of the year" for the management of the project which led to the erection of the tallest structure ever built by man.
This is my story; a story of management, risk and hard work and knowing where you want to go and being willing to do what it takes to get there. I was born in a small town named "Parbhani, in Maharashtra, India. A largely undeveloped area, offering little opportunities, my family moved to Pune, the educational hub of India, when I was about to enter high school. Also called "The Oxford of the East", Pune was among the top ten cities of India and therefore offered many golden opportunities in education as well as business. A pivot for the automobile, IT and construction industries, Pune offered favourable conditions for my family to prosper. My dad, owned a construction company and with the upsurge of construction activities in the then rising India, his business thrived. I never missed a single chance to visit the construction site with him. Frequent visits to the site and observing how the things worked at a site kindled the construction manager within me. Along with the best educational facilities and an exposure to people from different backgrounds nestled in this city, I also began to excel academically and understand different people and different ideologies. I therefore was usually elected as the leader of various groups in the school and the community and these experiences sowed the seeds of leadership in me. These conditions paved the way for me to choose building construction management as my career. Since this course was at a very nascent stage of development in Indian universities then, my family decided that I should go overseas to pursue my higher education.
Thus, destiny eventually took me to the place which is dearest to me in this world: my alma mater "Purdue". This institution transformed me from a normal university student to a warrior, ready to take on any challenge that life throws in his way. It instilled in my mind the love for knowledge and capacity for original thinking. Additionally, perks such as construction site tours and on-campus guest lectures widened our understanding of the concepts and principles and helped us link theory to application in real life. These experiences are indeed of utmost importance in a course like construction management. And how can I forget my friends and companions who made my stay in university so sweet and fruitful? I recall the animated discussions and endless conversations I had with them. In their company I shed my angularities, sharpened my powers of argument and expression, and developed my wit and sense of humour. All these attributes have played a vital role in honing my skills as a construction manager and thereby have gone a long way in shaping my career.
After graduating and completing a master's degree at Purdue, I spent 2 years exploring the construction industry and putting into practice the lessons learnt in the class. I then joined a construction firm with many on- going projects.This gave me a good experience of how this industry works in the real world. By observing the senior managers and stepping on the wheels on which the construction industry runs, I was becoming ready to take the reins of management in my hands. Then, after spending some more years and I began to make contacts within the industry and started to gain a foothold within it. At the same time, my expertise and experience as a project manager grew, and once a junior, I was now a senior manager with savvy professional talent to orchestrate all the means and methods needed to accomplish any building challenge.
Then, after completing numerous successful projects, my company decided to take a giant leap ahead in this business. We decided to build the world's tallest building owing to the favourable market conditions and rising demands. The task was indeed awe inspiring and I was asked whether I would like to be the leader of the project managing team for this project. Eager to grab this golden opportunity, I happily nodded. Then after all the pre-construction practices of planning, budgeting, designing, permitting etc., began the most important project of my life when the President of India laid the foundation stone of the "Cloud Nine Tower". Both the expectations as well as the stakes were high and every aspect of the project had to be pre-planned and executed in the mind before actual implementation to avoid loses and delays. During the construction phase every day of mine would begin as early as 5-45 a.m., with me checking the construction schedule for the day, answering e-mails and looking at the problems being faced on the site which arrived at my desk. Then we held discussions with the contractors and other superintendents to discuss project progress and to address schedule, technical, and financial risks to the project. Then after catering to these needs I used to put on my boots and hardhat and walk the site with one of our construction and safety managers. I believed that a management presence amidst the actual construction activities shows a level of interest and investment that can be inspiring to both the labour force and junior managers. I asked questions and addressed issues of safety concern and construction quality. It kept me in touch with the pace of work and afforded me some working-level perspective, as well as gave me new insights from the labour force. Thus after two years of arduous work and effort we finally arrived at the post construction phase. We fruitfully acquired the occupancy certificate and with the final touch-ups announced the completion of the project and handed it over to the clients.
Then at the inaugural party when I was awarded for my hard work, I felt a great sense of achievement. Now when I look back at my journey, I think that projects like the Cloud Nine Towers and many others like it wouldn't have been possible without the support of my family and the knowledge bestowed upon me by Purdue. Then in my mind, I remember those college days and thank Purdue for making my life a source of constant learning for without which I wouldn't have learnt to grow. It was because of it that I have and always will build spaces and thereby communities that serve people. I could thus embark on a journey, seeking growth-in order to make a difference in construction, small or big. Hence, it was because of Purdue and the lessons of hard work and the fighting spirit it infused within me that an ordinary person like me, effectively climbed 510 floors of success!