Q&A: Jason Alvarado
Known for his personality and ability to make others smile and laugh, Jason Alvarado, senior project manager at Willmeng Construction, worked as a superintendent for a decade before transitioning into his current role as project manager. He didn’t originally plan on getting a degree in Construction Management from Arizona State University, but the decision has served him well ever since.
What is the toughest professional challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome that challenge?
Transitioning from a superintendent to a project manager was difficult because I held that role for 10 years. I had to refocus because I had my own ways of doing things as a superintendent, but I learned to embrace other superintendent’s traits and ideas.
How did you get started in your career?
When in high school, I thought I would pursue engineering of some sort; however in a college introductory engineering class, another student started talking to me about his major – heavy construction. The more we talked sold me on the fact that construction was more for me. That same week I changed my major and the rest is history.
What advice do you have for the next generation of leaders?
Believe in yourself, treat everyone with respect, learn to trust your people, and take the time to help those around you learn what you know to make them into better professionals. The way I see it is that one or more people did the above for me and gave me a shot to put me in the leadership position I am in now.
What is your next big professional goal?
I want to continue my development as a project manager and also mentor our future leaders. I would like to one day become a silo leader and take on the next set of challenges that this business brings.
What 3-5 qualities combine to make a “rock star” business leader?
- You have to have the passion for it. If you are doing something just for the money then that’s not the right reason. Success comes to those who can embrace and have a passion for what they do.
- Learn to Trust. Trust in yourself with the choices you make and trust those around you. If you cannot trust the people around you then you will not go far in your goals of running a successful business. Gain trust in those around you and they will take you to success.
- It’s been proven here at Willmeng. If you instill a great culture in your company/people then these same folks will always have a positive attitude that is contagious in those around them. Not just immediate co-workers but in other entities like owners, architects, subcontractors, etc. This creates healthy work environments.
- Although some things may look like it came easy, nothing seems to come that easy.
- Problem solver. You have to think outside the box and come to the table with solutions. Sometimes you are measured on how you were able to solve a problem you were presented or came across.
What is your best advice for succeeding, but also having fun in the workplace?
Don’t be afraid to be a dreamer. If you can’t imagine great things for yourself then why set goals. There are so many great success stories out there and it was because those individuals imagined a positive change in their lives and made it a reality.
What are you known for?
Humor. I like to make those around me laugh and smile.
Growing up, what did you aspire to be?
As a kid I wanted to be like my older brother, and to this day, at the age of 38, I still aspire to be like him.
What is the best compliment you ever received?
My kids. They mean the world to me and when I receive positive things about them it makes me proud of them. I have had personal compliments throughout my life on several things, but it’s not the same when you receive compliments about yours kids. It’s definitely a great feeling.
What is your anthem? (favorite song)
I have so many but I always liked “Eye of the Tiger.” I like it when I watched the Rocky movies, listened to it before a wrestling match, and to this day play it when I get motivated.
What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
Enjoy time with my family whether it be vacationing somewhere or the recreational sports that my two oldest boys are currently in.