Construction Management senior spotlight: Dakota Collins

Dakota Collins headshot
Dakota Collins

The Department of Construction Management shines the spotlight on Dakota Collins, who comes from parents who are CSU alumni. A self-described passionate outdoorsman, Collins was born and raised in Colorado, living in the mountains exploring, climbing and looking for Colorado trout! Collins loves spending time on the river, fly fishing, or climbing mountain peaks with his two Huskies.

A non-traditional student, Collins spent several years in the construction industry gaining work experience, and also growing and building several of his own businesses. He decided to return to a formal education when sparked with a drive to build and grow a construction company. From the beginning, his goal was to specialize in sustainable and green construction. He discovered CSU had one of the best construction management programs in the United States, as well as offering a minor program, Global Environmental Sustainability.

For his construction management internship, Collins worked with CSU Remodel and Construction Services. They handled all phases of construction and remodel projects for university buildings. The work varied by day, including remodeling lecture halls, laboratories, equine centers, or office spaces. Collins noted that it offered great experience building skills in project management and estimating, as well as developing professional soft skills.

Experience from running businesses

In addition to his internship, a majority of Collins’ work experience comes from running his own businesses. At an early age, he was fascinated with the idea of not only working for himself, but being able to provide others with work, as well. He describes one of his greatest achievements as founding Discover Breathe, LLC. Collins said, “BREATHE has now been operating for over seven years, and is continuing to grow as a connection point for individuals seeking mindful experiences.”

Dakota Collins walking tightrope across a mountain canyonAsked to describe his CSU experience, Collins said, “CSU has been an incredible experience for me. I am equipped with the tools to succeed, and make a difference in the industry. I credit the success to the amazing faculty and staff of the construction management program here at CSU.

Passion for sustainable construction

I really enjoyed getting involved with sustainability initiatives and student organizations. I served as captain two years in a row for the sustainable buildings competition team, as well as the president of the United States Green Building Council student organization on campus. A big shout-out to my mentor throughout the past four years, Rodolfo Valdes-Vasquez. His commitment to sustainable construction has been inspiring and impacted my life significantly. Rodolfo serves as the instructor for the Sustainable Buildings Study Abroad program in Costa Rica. I was fortunate to have participated in the program, and was blown away by the quality of the curriculum and course organization. I highly recommend this program to any student, who has an immense passion for sustainability.”

Collins cited his involvement with the competition teams as a highlight of his CSU career, mainly for the relationships it fostered. His advice to students is to get involved, as the time passes so quickly, and involvement is the best way to build relationships.

After graduation, Collins plans to work in the construction industry in Colorado, “This will serve as a segue to my next big pursuit of growing a construction company,” said Collins. “My mission is to make a positive difference in this world. I plan to leverage construction to do this. I hope to inspire, teach and influence others to create healthy environments for all of us to live, work, and learn in.”

The Department of Construction Management is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences