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CREW Rising Leaders Coffee Talk: Angie Sommer and Kristy Davis

 

By Kara DiBiasio, Real Estate Litigation Attorney, Burke Williams & Sorensen LLP 
 
On March 15, 2018, the CREW San Francisco’s Rising Leaders Committee hosted its quarterly Coffee Talk, featuring speakers Angie Sommer, Associate Engineer for ZFA Structural Engineers, and Kristy Davis, Business Development Manager for Truebeck Construction.  
Both Angie and Kristy started out as structural engineers.  They shared the stories of their paths to their current jobs, including the various twists, turns, and self-reflections that got them to where they are today. 
 
Kristy told the story of how her start in structural engineering made her realize she craved more client interactions, which ultimately led to her to looking for opportunities to focus on business development.  She found her fit at Truebeck, where she is now Business Development Manager and responsible for seeking out and securing new projects.  Kristy explained how her structural engineering background gives her an advantage when she comes to the table to try to win projects.
Angie found a good fit in structural engineering, but did not let the job stop her from pursuing her dreams of living in Australia.  After working for a few years after college, Angie moved to Australia, where she continued to work as a structural engineer--though she admitted transitioning to the metric system was a steep learning curve!  Angie described her return to San Francisco after a year in Australia, and the challenges she encountered in finding and establishing a new professional network when she got here.  Both Angie and Kristy agreed that CREW SF was instrumental in building their professional networks, but even more importantly, led to strong friendships with many of the women they have met through CREW. 
 
During the question and discussion portion of the talk, Kristy and Angie answered questions from CREW SF members about seeking out career opportunities, finding and working with a mentor, and building confidence in yourself through your professional development.  One of the pieces of advice they offered is to remember the value of peer mentoring.  Though we often think of mentors who are more established in their careers when we look for mentors, both Angie and Kristy agreed that peer mentors had been extremely valuable in their professional growth, and encouraged the women in the audience to view mentoring with an open mind and never miss an opportunity to build a relationship with someone.  
 
Perhaps the most important takeaway from this Coffee Talk was the reminder that the paths we take may not always look like straight lines, but that we have a better chance of finding fulfillment in our careers by focusing on our strengths, following our passions, and building a network of supportive colleagues and mentors.  
 
Speakers Kristy Davis (Left) and Angie Sommer (Right) at the March 2017 CREW SF Rising Leaders Coffee Talk
 

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