Athena Valdovinos, Talent Experience Manager

Professional Journey:

My journey in construction began with a transformative experience in Fiji during my teenage years, where I contributed to building critical infrastructure projects. Witnessing the impact of these projects on communities sparked my passion for construction. This passion led me to study Architecture and, eventually, to participate in the ASC student competition, where our team’s victory solidified my path in the construction industry.

At Swinerton, I started as a Project Engineer in the San Diego Division’s Builders Group, working on high-rise residential projects. Later, I transitioned to the Target Markets Healthcare team, where I immersed myself in enhancing patient experiences through new construction within active hospitals. During my time as an Assistant Project Manager, I discovered my passion for developing others, leading me to my current role as a Talent Experience Manager.

Role and Responsibilities:

As a Talent Experience Manager for the SoCaHi Region, I focus on enriching the employee experience, particularly for project engineers and interns. I’m dedicated to building our future leaders through initiatives like the PE Rotation Program and enhanced training opportunities. By nurturing talent and fostering a positive workplace culture, I contribute to the long-term success of our projects and teams.

Challenges and Triumphs:

One of the biggest challenges in my role is supporting a large population in the SoCaHi region at scale. However, through strong operational partnerships and personalized mentorship, we’ve been able to drive talent development initiatives effectively. Outside of work, my involvement in the ACE Mentorship Program has been immensely rewarding. Seeing students grow and providing scholarship opportunities fills me with pride and joy.

Advice for Aspiring Professionals:

To all the women considering a career in construction, I say: go for it! Embrace your passion, stay true to yourself, and remember that diversity is key to exceptional teamwork. Swinerton has supported my professional growth by offering flexibility and alternative opportunities, allowing me to explore my passion for people within the Talent First group.

Personal Touch:

What I cherish most about working at Swinerton is the people. Over the years, I’ve built meaningful connections with my teammates, who have always been there to support and uplift one another. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with loved ones, exploring new culinary adventures, practicing yoga or dance, and indulging in my love for architectural illustrations.

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