Julia Tisdale knew what she wanted to pursue, professionally, and where it could take her. As she prepares for commencement, Saturday afternoon, May 5, graduating from Ferris State University with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, the Midland native also knows where she will start her career.
“I have had eight interviews which resulted in three job offers,” Tisdale said. “I wanted to have my decision made by the mid-semester recess, at the end of March. I am excited to be joining the team at Clark Construction, based in Lansing, as they made the best offer across the board with great opportunities.”
Tisdale was able to accomplish her goals and manage her finances by arriving at Ferris as a transfer student from Delta College, in University Center, Michigan.
“My mother, Selina, is Community Affairs Director for the city of Midland, which allowed me to make a number of contacts in municipal government,” Tisdale said. “Ferris’ Construction Technology and Management program is among the best in the nation, so it came highly recommended. I toured the Granger Center during a ‘Dawg Day’ with associate professor Bob Eastley and chose Ferris for my Construction Management studies. I have never doubted that decision.”
Tisdale also accepted the opportunity to augment her studies by participating in internships prior to her junior and senior years, with Lakewood Construction in Grand Rapids in 2016, and Chicago-based Pepper Construction in 2017, respectively.
“The College of Engineering Technology and the School of Built Environment are bringing in companies and representatives constantly,” Tisdale said. “I know many of our faculty have worked with them and can offer great insight.”
Her efforts are not solely focused on advancing her professional prospects. Tisdale has supported Technology Engineering Aptitude, or TEA events, which help middle and high school students, particularly girls, become aware of the opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields.
“I have spoken on a number of student panels and am happy to tell my stories giving other studies advice and thoughts about my experiences,” Tisdale said. “Being a female, in what is a male-dominated field, it is great to speak with individuals looking into Construction Management, or get involved in group discussion. I think it is important to let them know what kind of opportunity is here, at Ferris for them.”
Construction Technology and Management faculty and the College of Engineering Technology were instrumental in Julia receiving a Breaking Traditions Merit Award from the Michigan Department of Education, in 2017. She has also been a leader with the Women in Technology campus registered student organization.
“I decided to get involved when I came to campus and joined the executive board during my second year,” Tisdale said. “I was glad to have been elected president, and happy to have had a voice in helping to bring changes to our campus organization.”
Tisdale further broadened her perspective by applying for, and earning selection to attend the Kiewit Women’s Construction Leadership Seminar, which was held Jan. 23 and 24 in Denver, Colorado.
“A Construction Management peer, Maycee Robinson, had taken part in 2016 and suggested I give it a try,” Tisdale said. “I got to meet 35 other students from across the country and review their programs and professional goals. I am looking forward to the chance to meet up with them as our careers advance.”
Tisdale made yet another contribution to promote women in the STEM fields and technological workplace, serving as student speaker Thursday, April 19 at the third annual “Honoring Women in the College of Engineering Technology” banquet on campus.
“I am glad that Ferris hosts such an event,” she said. “Our program takes its roles of promoting diversity and excellence very seriously.”
As she prepares to consider project plans and schedules for the Clark Construction Company, Tisdale said she is glad to be entering her career, having received a wealth of experience.
“The reasons I chose Ferris and Construction Management have certainly been justified, in terms of the experiences and opportunities they presented,” she said.