Bridge Builder…Taco Fanatic…Connection Keeper
The road less traveled may look a lot like the winding path Jose Perez took to Beck – from Puerto Rico to Iowa to Texas. Jose was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Iowa to study civil engineering. While working on his master’s degree in construction engineering, he was fascinated by a professor’s comment during a design-build course that Beck was “one of the few industry leaders truly doing integrated work.” Intrigued, he won a summer internship at Beck and the rest is history.
When he was younger, he wanted to become a structural engineer who designed bridges. In school, Jose realized that he enjoyed the collaboration and integration that is involved in the commercial construction industry. He changed his major and pursued a career in commercial construction.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he cautions. “I still like bridges – the Brooklyn Bridge is my favorite…and don’t get me started with the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas on the Trinity River! But my passion lies in the building sector.”
Now a member of Beck’s preconstruction team, Jose keeps things in balance by getting involved with activities within and outside of Beck. He’s a dedicated participant in Beck’s fitness challenges (including the Warrior Dash), is a member of a kickball league and is a fierce competitor in weekly trivia contests.
Plus Jose has a goal that’s perfectly suited to his new hometown of Austin, Texas: Looking for the best breakfast taco in town.
“Sharing life experiences with the people I love and care about is on top of my priority list,” he says. “You can buy things, but you can never buy memories. And seriously, I really need to find the best breakfast taco in Texas.”
Jose’s family still lives in Puerto Rico. He makes sure to stay in touch on a regular basis. “My family is an important part of my life and I like to share with them as many of the experiences that I am living here in my new home, Texas,” he explains. “I am enjoying Texas so much that I convinced one of my cousins to move with me to Austin – and he did!”
In addition to frequent communication, his family visits him in Texas at least once a year. Jose returns the favor with a yearly trip back home.
What’s the best time to visit Puerto Rico? “Christmas! It is a blast and a never ending party. I go there every Christmas season.”
Jose first joined Beck as an intern while a student at Iowa State University. After joining Beck full-time, he expressed his interest in transitioning from construction to preconstruction. Beck’s director of preconstruction in Austin served as his mentor, helping him work through a two-and-a-half year career plan to transition. His work as a senior preconstruction engineer involves daily interaction with the full project team: architects, subcontractors, owners and suppliers.
“One of the things that I enjoy the most at working at Beck is that, being integrated, I can see and participate in the development of projects from concept, design, budget and operations,” Jose says. “Because we sit as an integrated team, I become aware of the issues, successes, and methods that the other Beck teams experience, which allows me to incorporate those secondhand lessons learned into my daily routine.”