Ava Martinez – giving back through recruitment efforts

Ava Martinez headshotAva Martinez is a current senior planning to graduate in May 2023. Already she is finding her place in industry, working to do the very thing that got her where she is today.

Born in Rapid City, South Dakota, Martinez and her family returned to Colorado her first year of high school. Her dad is from a small Colorado town, and her mom attended CSU. Martinez’s older sister graduated from CSU with her master’s degree in spring 2022, all of which sparked Martinez’s interest in attending CSU as well.

CM’s Women in Construction Management Summer Institute

While still in high school, Martinez signed up to attend the Women in Construction Management Summer Institute program, hosted by the Department of Construction Management. She had no idea what she wanted to do in life. She came across this institute with no knowledge of what the field of construction management entailed.

“So, I took a leap of faith,” said Martinez, “and got ready for the unexpected that summer! After the institute ended, I realized construction management was my calling, as I had met so many inspiring women, and I knew I wanted to be just like them.”

The institute gave Martinez an idea what to expect as a first-year student in the construction management major and the resources that were available to her. In starting the program in the fall, she already knew many of the woman faculty members.

“To this day, I have stayed connected to the industry members who took part in this program,” Martinez said. “Being a part of the summer institute is the reason I am where I am today. I am so thankful that the CM department has continued this program for high schoolers interested in construction!”

Internship experienceAva Martinez in hard hat on jobsite

Martinez has participated in several internships already including for a smaller general contractor, where she functioned as a preconstruction intern tasked with completing various takeoffs. In summer 2021, she worked in Windsor at a construction company where she was a project engineer intern, responsible for multiple projects and tasked with writing RFIs, submittals, and reading contracts.

Currently, Martinez is completing a 6-month internship at Brinkmann Constructors where she is, again, a project engineer intern. At Brinkmann she is tasked with solving problems and coordinating with subcontractors. This internship has led to a full-time job offer with Brinkmann, for which she’s excited to begin after graduation.

“Brinkmann has done an excellent job as a company to engage us not only in work but also in their culture,” Martinez said. “Brinkmann has realized how great the CSU CM department is, and as part of my full-time offer I will be acting as a recruiter during my last semester at CSU.

This is a wonderful opportunity for Brinkmann, who gets to meet more prospective employees from this amazing program, and for me, as I get to share my experience with Brinkmann and why they are a company to keep on your radar. I am excited to be a Brinkmann Build Representative and to be able to engage with my peers about the opportunities Brinkmann has.”

Crediting CM

Coming full circle from being recruited through the summer institute program, to being a recruiter within the industry, Martinez said the CM department has done an amazing job in providing resources students need to succeed. These resources help make the transition from school to internship smooth and prepares students for what to expect.

The “leap of faith” Martinez took ended up being exactly what she needed. Her advice to everyone unsure of what they want to do is: “Take a leap of faith; you might not have any idea what you are getting yourself into but the worst that can happen is you don’t like it.”

She also adds, “Get involved. That’s the advice that I have gotten throughout my time in the CM program. There are so many amazing clubs and events that take place. The Women in Construction student club and the EMPOWER mentoring program are great resources for women in the program, and they helped me reach the place I am now. Being able to connect with and learn from women in the industry – seeing what they have accomplished and where they are now, is a huge part of my success today. One day I hope to be a role model like these inspirational women.”

The Department of Construction Management is part of the College of Health and Human Sciences.