Plateau People – Francisco Santiago, Project Manager
With a strong foundation built on people, quality craftsmanship, and innovation, Plateau Excavation has become a leader in tackling advanced, large-scale and complex site development projects, but it is our people that truly make the difference and have moved the company forward.
- How many years have you been at Plateau Excavation? July 27, 2020, was my first day as an employee, so almost three years now.
- What’s your job title? Project Manager
- What exactly do you do at our company? Managed the Facebook/Meta Data Center in Gallatin, TN for two and a half years with what I think has been the best team I have ever worked with. Since January, I have transitioned into a drone data analysis role to ensure our sites are tracking as estimated and balanced in terms of dirt quantities.
- So far, what has been your favorite project? Due to its magnitude, Meta’s- Gallatin Data Center has been the only site I have been part of from a management standpoint; therefore, it has to be my favorite.
- How would you describe your team or the people you work with? As a collective I would describe Plateau’s team as an unmatched force in the Civil side of the industry. As far as people, Plateau has become an extended family for me. It is hard to find a group where the mindset of being the best of the best ranges from the top to the bottom of the organization.
- What advice would you provide to someone interested in getting into this industry? Be open to learning as much as you can. Being a student is an everyday task that can be tedious, but it is a must-have trait to be successful and to overcome the challenges that the industry comes with and stay relevant in your role. There is basic knowledge and experience to gather from those who set the foundations of what we do today, but as technology keeps pushing forward, finding more efficient ways to make things happen is the only guarantee for success.
- What is your favorite aspect about your job, Plateau, or the industry? The Project Manager role comes with a broad window of opportunities and challenges that allow for each day to be different so not being slave of a set routine has always been my favorite part of the job. Being able to connect with people would be my very close second favorite thing; the client side is exciting as it brings the challenge of meeting expectations and establishing relationships. On the other hand, the opportunity to have some impact or learn from coworkers/employees is something I have always been grateful of.
- What drew you to Plateau originally? Firm believer that God brings you to the right place at the right time. The offer came in with the challenge to manage, what at the time would be, the biggest job in Plateau’s history. It was also close to Nashville, which was the place I wanted to move to after a couple of years of exploring the Southeast, so it was a no-brainer for me.
- What is something unique about you (a fun fact) that few people are aware of? I wouldn’t call them unique, but these are some of the things that I think are not as evident during the daily routine or noted by people I come across while working:
- God and my family are the main drivers. Putting this one out first as my faith has definitely increased throughout my years in construction. To me, there is no coincidence in that usually the toughest days are the ones where I hit the ground running without saying at least thanks to God. I also try to close my workday by talking to my parents in Puerto Rico. It’s an everyday thing that keeps me moving.
- Design/Architecture was my original career path and something that I still apply to most aspects of my life. It goes from how I strategize and approach work tasks to how I decide what to wear for the day.
- I love cooking! Opening a Puerto Rican restaurant is a top 3 item on my things to do before hanging the towel (if I ever get to that point).
- Anything else to share? First, thanks to the Plateau family for opening a window of opportunities for me to continue developing my career. With that said, I would encourage anybody that has been in the industry for a while or is starting fresh, to continue giving it more than what you signed up for on a daily basis. It is not the advice that most people probably want to hear but it is one of the keys to finding fulfillment in the industry.
Be open to learning as much as you can. Being a student is an everyday task that can be tedious, but it is a must-have trait to be successful and to overcome the challenges that the industry comes and stay relevant in your role. There is basic knowledge and experience to gather from those who set the foundations of what we do today, but as technology keeps pushing forward, finding more efficient ways to make things happen is the only guarantee for success.