By Betsy Simon
Mar 23, 2021
Career possibilities abound in the construction management field.
Just ask siblings and Indiana State University alumni Mariah Wright-Doran, ’16, her brother Chris Wright, ’20, and their sister and current Indiana State student Brittani Wright.
When Mariah’s interest in construction management developed in high school, she knew she was molding her own career path but never imagined her siblings would follow her lead.
“I looked at architecture programs in high school, but I don’t have a designer mindset. I have a builder mindset, which made construction management a good fit,” Mariah said. “In high school, I interned with an ISU construction management alumnus at MSI Construction and he encouraged me to follow his path, so Indiana State’s where I decided to go when I was applying for colleges and got the President’s Scholarship.”
During her time at State, Mariah, ’16, was a President’s Scholar, secretary and president of the Construction Club, vice president of Sigma Lambda Chi (the professional Construction Management fraternity), and an advisor to the Master Plan Committee. She also had internships with Thompson Thrift Construction and Pepper Construction. After graduation, Wright accepted a position with Hunt Construction Group – An AECOM Company. She now serves as a construction analyst at AECOM in Indianapolis.
Working with Mariah sparked her brother’s interest in construction management.
“When I was in high school, I was dead set on attending IU and going into business, but then I toured a job site with Mariah after she graduated and talked to and shadowed project managers,” Chris said. “It made me decide that’s what I wanted to do. I did research and saw how ISU worked for Mariah, so I decided to follow in her footsteps.”
“The possibilities in this field are endless and you can mold them to fit your lifestyle and wants,” Chris said. “I like that it’s not limited to being in the office all the time.”
After watching Chris and Mariah’s careers flourish, Brittani abruptly decided on a career change.
“I thought I would go into politics and was working as a manager at Menards to save for grad school when I became interested in what (my siblings) were doing,” Brittani said. “I spent a day with Chris at McCarthy and was later hired on with McCarthy Building Companies in St. Louis before I decided to go to ISU to get my construction management degree in the fall of 2020 through the online program, which allows me to continue as a project administrator at McCarthy.”
State’s online program allows Brittani to attend class from anywhere her job or career may take her.
“I may need to relocate for my job at any time, so I needed the flexibility to not have to transfer schools and I was already familiar with State’s program, “ she said. “Now I’m able to grow on my job and with my education.”
The benefit of a construction management career, Mariah said, is that no two days or career paths are the same.
For Brittani, there’s nothing like seeing a finished building that she has played a role in constructing.
“I love the growth potential (of construction management). Every day and every project is different,” she said. “One project, I might be working for the federal government, and another one might be on a college campus. Either way, I learn something new every day and the potential for growth is always there if you’re willing to learn.”