Kristina Sing, P.E., is Director of Engineering for McKinstry’s Seattle-based Energy team as well as our Portland office. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a previous life, I was a mechanical engineer working for a consulting firm. My goal was to become a principal in that firm—that was the path all consulting engineers followed. An engineer would spend years learning the craft, adhering to code changes, and designing projects—eventually moving up to managing projects and the ultimate end game: managing a book of business, developing a client base, and managing a team of engineers.
Around the 10-year mark in my career, I was managing projects with hopes of becoming a principal one day, when I was presented with an opportunity to change jobs. This company was a design-build mechanical contractor. In my experience, though, engineers were often at odds with contractors. The perception was that contractors tried to cheapen the project—they were out to find holes in the design and pine for change orders. Why in the world would I want to go work for the BIG BAD CONTRACTOR?