When did you start at M Bar C?
What positions have you filled at M Bar C?
I started as an assistant project manager under the senior project manager at the time, which was a great experience because it exposed me to so many different types of projects and a wide breadth of knowledge.
A couple of months after joining the team, I got my bearings and handled small repair jobs fixing structures that had damage from garbage trucks or buses, not paying attention to where they were going. In May of 2020, I became a full-fledged project manager handling more complex projects and using the knowledge that I gained as an assistant and handling repairs to managing projects of my own.
What changes have you seen take place since you started working for M Bar C?
The most significant change I have seen is our expansion and our growth. We started working on the East Coast and expanded to other states aside from California. The types of projects we are handling now and the quantity have far surpassed what I initially started—both in complexity, size, logistics, and even geographically.
How have you grown and developed while working here?
I have grown a lot in general construction knowledge, specifically in the solar world. I can now look at a 2D set of plans, see them in 3D, and think about what they will look like when constructed in the field. I like to think in layers. You need topographical maps, underground utility maps, and easement maps for any project. As a project manager, you must take all these things into account to make a project successful.
I have great mentors and coaches who contribute to all the knowledge that helps me in my job. Everything has been built upon by being an assistant, handling small repairs, and now handling bigger projects. I now know how long it takes to cut through 4 inches of concrete and how long it takes one of our awesome crew guys to set a column in the ground. I prepare even more because the delivery depends on me as the project manager.
What are your favorite parts of your job?
My favorite part of the job is seeing the projects come to life from a simple rectangle on a Google Earth image. With that rectangle, through the process of design, development, and installation, it transforms into a real-life structure, which is my favorite part. I can say, “look at what we have done. We have taken someone’s idea and made it something real on this property.” I have to give a great shoutout to our crew, who are amazing for what they do onsite through the heat of construction. It is just awesome to see someone’s concept come to life.
My fiancée and I live within a mile of two of our school projects, and we walk by them with our dogs. Even though we have walked by them dozens of times, I always point them out. I always say, “that’s a nice carport over there…” He rolls his eyes at me most of the time because he hears it all the time, but I know he’s proud of me.
What M Bar C project was your favorite to work on?
My favorite project to date is one that I am working on right now. It is a water reclamation plant in Cardiff, CA, and it is my favorite because it has three types of structures that we build at M Bar C. It has our typical solar canopy, a rooftop structure, and then it also has a ground mount in a large field at this property. I have had to become in tune with all three types of builds because they are all completely different and take different types of crews, logistics, and material procurement. It has been great to see them start their installation and the progress that they are each making. I feel like this project is a little microcosm of all the things we do at M Bar C because it has almost all the elements.
Where do you see yourself heading in the next couple of years?
I want to grow with the company and become an expert at being a project manager. I want to manage bigger, & more complex projects in the next couple of years. I think that at the rate that we are growing and the things that we are doing at the school and commercial levels, there will be an opportunity for huge systems. I would love to have that feather in my cap and say, “I helped manage the biggest project M Bar C has ever done.”
You can catch Natalie with her fiancée and dogs walking, hiking, or camping in her free time. She enjoys DIY projects and being crafty. Her craftsmanship guided her to construction. After graduating from Cal State San Marcos, she worked at an insurance company where she was not happy and felt she was inhibiting her professional growth. Natalie decided to move toward the construction industry. She stated, “I wanted something tangible where I could say ‘this is what I helped create, this is what I built.’ One of the things that attracted me to M Bar C and construction, in general, is having a product at the end of the day that I can point to and be proud of.”