Nor-Cal's success wouldn't be possible without the skilled and dedicated project managers who keep all the plates spinning. We sat down with our own Sofia Soto to discuss the day in the life of a Nor-Cal project manager.
What is your position title and what does it mean to you?
My position title is Project Manager II. What it means to me is that there are constant goals that I have to meet, but I don't have to achieve them alone. It is my job to make sure everyone on my team gets to the finish line of all projects.
My role as Project Manager reminds me of soccer—I've played soccer my entire life. Everyone on the team is an individual contributor, but if the team doesn't play well as a unit, you're not likely to win. I don't think I could do a job where I'm only an individual contributor and not part of a team.
What does a typical day for you look like?
There is no such thing as typical in the life of a PM. One of my favorite things about my job is that it's very different every day! Project managers at Nor-Cal work on 10 to 15 projects at a time. Most of my day consists of planning resources, attending stakeholder and client meetings, handling finances, and a good chunk of it is chasing down people to make sure we meet our deadlines. About 60% of my day can be planned and the other 40% is taken up by last-minute issues that pop up.
Who do you typically work with (internal people, clients, etc.)?
Project managers at Nor-Cal have one of the most people-interfacing roles in the company. We work with every stakeholder on our client side externally and with every department within Nor-Cal. On the external side, we talk with clients, project owners, utilities all across the U.S., and all sorts of subcontractors.
What is the coolest part about your day-to-day?
The solar PV industry is changing all the time with new requirements and technologies, which means the difficulty across projects is starting to vary a lot more. It's scary at first to get a difficult project, but my favorite part is getting to the end and having that rewarding feeling of having seen it through.
The other coolest part about my day-to-day is the people I work with. Our team here feels like a family, and I've never not wanted to come to work and see my co-workers. Even though we've grown, Nor-Cal has done an excellent job of maintaining our company culture. Our leadership team is easily accessible. That's huge for me as an employee and I'm sure for a lot of my co-workers as well.
We all look out for each other here. Even though everyone is super busy, there's always someone who will make sure you get out of your office for coffee and a chat, or out for a walk, so you're not hidden away in your office for the entire eight hours.
Can you tell us about the project you're most proud of working on?
The Snipesville solar project in Georgia is the one I'm most proud of because it's been 100% the most difficult in all aspects. I attribute a lot of my growth with Nor-Cal to being lucky enough to work on this project.
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