Ali Brown, a junior at the University of Nebraska, has been awarded one of the two Ferguson-Women in the Mechanical Industry Scholarships.
Ferguson underwrites these scholarships, which recognize high-achieving female students working towards a degree relative to the mechanical industry.
Ali has been a member of the MCA of Omaha-sponsored Student Chapter since 2017. She attended the 2019 GreatFutures Forum and the 2019 WiMI Conference. She is earning her degree in Business Administration & Human Resources.
In her scholarship application, Ali discusses why she shifted her focus from the engineering and construction management side of the industry to the business side. “Even though I am now a business major I still see the mechanical construction industry as an exciting industry to be in. I see the opportunities that there are for growth in all areas of the industry.”
Post-graduation, Ali sees herself working for a mechanical contractor in their human resources department. “I want to help with developing standards of practice as well as recruit new talent for my company. My goal in my career is to help people and I believe that I can achieve this goal through working in Human Resources.”
Ali is appreciative of her involvement with her student chapter and the connections she has made with contractors through the MCA of Omaha. “We work with our contractors to plan fundraising events, recruit new student chapter members, and much more. Through our chapter I feel like I have learned more about the industry than I ever thought I would know. I have been able to see how many different companies run jobs and other day-to-day activities between our different contractors.”
Ali has been interning for The Waldinger Corporation, a member of the MCA of Omaha, MCAA and NCPWB, throughout her academic career. She has been involved in the administration, Virtual Design and Construction, and the accounting department. “I enjoy the culture we have at Waldinger. I especially enjoy the internship program we have; it exposes me to all facets of the company.” She is excited to continue her Waldinger internship this summer.
Ali reflects on her internship experiences and seeing the unique challenges and opportunities as a women in the industry. Ali thinks there are many challenges that come with being a woman in the mechanical contracting field. “Since it is so male dominated,” she said, “I feel like gaining the respect of coworkers is the biggest challenge that comes with being a woman in this field. Though it is a challenge I believe that also makes it an opportunity. The best way to grow personally is by taking challenges and turning them into opportunities.”
Women in the Mechanical Industry and the John R. Gentille Foundation congratulate Ali on this prestigious scholarship and thank Ferguson for their commitment to encouraging young women to be engaged in our industry.