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Numbers add up for Senese

By: Dan Shaw, [email protected]//March 14, 2019//

Numbers add up for Senese

By: Dan Shaw, [email protected]//March 14, 2019//

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Giovanna Senese - Bear Construction
Giovanna Senese –
Bear Construction

A degree in physics might seem like a strange way of getting into the construction industry, but it’s precisely the one taken by Giovanna Senese.

Now a project engineer at Bear Construction Co.’s Milwaukee office, Senese studied both physics and mathematics at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Returning to the Midwest with a degree in hand, she wasn’t quite certain what sort of career she might choose.

She was familiar with construction because of her dad, who had been employed for years by a general contractor. With that connection, Senese was able to work a bit in construction while growing up west of Chicago.

It was an experience she recalled fondly.

“I like the aspect of seeing something from nothing turn into a building or a space and watch it develop from when there was nothing there,” Senese said.

So when Bear Construction came calling, she jumped at the opportunity. She found herself quickly thrown into the thick of it.

“I help with bidding and with little things like submittals and contracts,” Senese said. “I’ve also been able to attend networking events and see the business development side.”

She also had a hand in one of the company’s larger projects in the Milwaukee area: the 18,000-square-foot expansion of von Briesen & Roper’s law office on Wisconsin Avenue in the city’s downtown.

Senese said she loves her job for the opportunity that it gives her to work with people with a vast array of expertise.

“You can bounce ideas off each other,” she said. “You have one guy in industrial and someone who specializes in health care. And you’re bringing those different minds together so you can solve problems more easily.”

Less appealing to her is the business-development work, although she’s growing into it.

“I don’t do too much of it because I am a project engineer,” Senese said. “It just seems to be one of the harder aspects of this job. But it’s also a fun aspect. There’s never a dull moment, even if it’s just a simple lunch meeting.”


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