Today’s guest was Elsch Maisoh Jr, Project Engineer, Gilbane Building Company,
Providence, RI. Gilbane is a family-owned, national construction and real estate development company. Forbes Magazine ranked Gilbane as the 108th largest privately held company in the United States in 2006 with estimated revenues of $2.83 billion.
Today’s Life Skills class host was Felicia Dickerson.
Elsch’s story began with two questions – what is engineering? what is the profile of a typical engineer? The class responded impressively. “There are a wide variety of engineers today from computer technology to construction and many in between” said Yael Torres. The class consensus was
engineers need to be creative, good in math, conscientious and ethical.
And, they are gender neutral; i.e. both male and female engineers.
Elsch shared his personal story. “My parents were hard working Haitian immigrants. They instilled the importance of education in me and my siblings” he said. “While my elementary schooling was successful, middle school was a disaster. I went to the Met and things got better. I was fortunate to have a few internships and
was able to build a network of successful people along the way; some became mentors.
When I enrolled in college, I thought I’d be a entrepreneur starting my own business. I fortunately was invited to be part of a program funded by Gilbane and local universities to pay for a good part of my tuition at CCRI and then Roger Williams University in Construction Engineering. I guess
my brand was perceived in such a way Gilbane and Roger Williams University believed it would be a wise decision to invest in me.
It’s worked out well. I’m very appreciative.”
Elsch spoke about the importance of choosing friends and a network wisely. He agreed with Mr Cronin “trust must be earned“. He also informed the class of the
value of internships.
“Sometimes the best internship is discovering you don’t like a particular job”.
The class ended with a networking opportunity for several students to exchange business cards with Elsch to continue the conversation. Elsch was then on his way to his nearby construction project.