Leap of Faith with Angeles Garcia

Angeles Garcia is a Project Executive at McCarthy Building Companies. Originally from Ensenada, Mexico, Angeles has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Tijuana Institute of Technology.

Angeles started out at McCarthy over 20 years ago by answering a newspaper ad for a Project Admin position. Since then she has slowly worked her way up to an executive role, breaking down barriers all along the way. I find Angeles so inspiring, and she shares ton of great advice on how to inspire teams to do great work, how organizations can address unconscious bias, and how we should all stop second guessing ourselves and just go for it.


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SHOW RECAP:

  • How Angeles's family's home remodel when she was in high school inspired her to study architecture

  • Transitioning from being an architect in Mexico to practicing in the US - and then realizing she wanted to do something else

  • Getting her foot in the door at McCarthy

  • It wasn't always Angeles's goal to be a Project Executive at one of the largest construction firms, and at one point she thought it was unachievable

  • On telling your supervisors what your end goals are so they can support you

  • What Angeles does in her role as a Project Executive

  • Why Angeles feels like she has a voice and an opportunity to influence where the construction industry is going

  • The biggest barriers facing women in construction

  • On unconscious bias, and what organizations can do to address it

  • "You'll find that most often than not, you're ready. And if you're not, you have the support to succeed. But you need to be able to really speak up and ask for support as well."

  • What the best way is to inspire teams to do great work

  • What Angeles loves most about the construction industry - "We start with just an idea on a piece of paper and turn that into reality...into a building that will serve the community."

  • The low point of her career, and what inspired her to keep going

  • McCarthy's diversity initiatives, and why diversity makes business sense

LIGHTNING ROUND Q&A

WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUT IN THEIR CAREER?

When you’re starting out, I think the first thing that I would say is take chances. Especially when you’re starting out you can take chances. Don’t be afraid to fail, because if you don’t try, you will not succeed.”

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU FEEL UNFOCUSED OR OVERWHELMED?

Typically when I’m feeling overwhelmed, it’s because I let things be out of control. What makes me feel better is I take a day to organize myself, to prioritize myself. Even if I’m taking a day off or my night off, it makes me feel so much better. So when I come back the next day, I know what I need to do, and then just start tackling it - and see what you can delegate as well.

WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU FIND REALLY INSPIRING?

Very recently, I found a quote - and I actually posted it on my Facebook - “Life is all about how you handle Plan B”. And that can be personal or professional. Life is going to throw at us many things. And when you think how you can turn that into an opportunity, how you can overcome it, and either grab Plan B and embrace it, or what you’re making out of that, it will make a huge difference in what happens.

WHAT'S A FUNNY OR INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF?

I had to ask my family because I couldn’t think of anything, and they gave me a few actually. They were immediate to tell me what are my funny habits. But there is one that I completely agree - I have no sense of direction whatsoever. I have no idea what I did before GPS was invented. I can get lost going to the market. GPS - best invention ever.

MENTOR SHOUT OUT! WHO IS SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN A GREAT MENTOR TO YOU?

I want to take the opportunity to mention three people. I have to go back to my roots. My first one is my mother. She was a stay at home mom, but she was just so smart and so strong that it was truly an inspiration.  My dad. You have to put in perspective that in Mexico, especially when I was growing up, most women were like “When when I’m going to get married?” And my dad was like “You’re going to be self sufficient, and you’re going to be the best that you can be.” And that’s how I grew up. How do I be the best that I can be - not necessarily the best, but the best of me, which is a big difference. That has made me what I am today.

Professionally, it has to be the first executive that I worked with - his name is Edgar Ravis. He took me under his umbrella after college and he showed me what construction management was. He mentored me like a daughter. At the time I didn’t know how good I had it. So I definitely have to give him credit.