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How Vanderbilt's Construction Management Program Boosted My Engineering Career

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Paul Shrem, an alum of Vanderbilt University’s construction management graduate degree in civil engineering, is an incredibly accomplished and ambitious professional who is now experiencing a meaningful engineering career at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. 

Below, he shares a few thoughts regarding his experience in Vanderbilt’s respected construction management program and details how it prepared him for a successful career in the field of civil engineering.

Download Vanderbilt University’s construction management guide to learn more  about obtaining a graduate degree in civil engineering that will prepare you to  transform the construction industry.

What is your name, location, graduation year and current role? 


My name is Paul Kevin Shrem. I graduated in 2010 with a construction management graduate degree in civil engineering from Vanderbilt University School of Engineering. 

I am currently working as Director of the Engineering-Architecture Division at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

What made you think it was time to consider enrolling in the construction management program?

As an architect, I wanted to expand my industry knowledge and strengthen my engineering skills. The nation was in the midst of the 2008 recession, and I recognized that every skill edge was invaluable.

What attracted you to Vanderbilt University's construction management program?

Living and working in Nashville, Vanderbilt University’s reputation for quality provided the training and credentials to propel my career to the next level.

What was the most eye-opening element of the construction management program?

The practical application of the skills that Vanderbilt provided in a thriving construction market that the Nashville Metropolitan region was and remains to be was an exciting element of my experience.

Discover how Vanderbilt University's immersive construction management  internship program equips future leaders for success in the industry.

How did Vanderbilt's construction management program encourage you to become a better leader in the field?

Better understanding the science and engineering behind the challenges in the design and construction field allows me to confidently and competently mentor others. 

What changes have you noticed in how you lead, manage or work with others since obtaining this civil engineering graduate degree?

The development and strengthening of my skills allows me to offer solutions to others, gain the respect of those I lead and become a valued resource sought out by others.

How has this civil engineering degree affected your professional opportunities?

Vanderbilt University’s graduate degree in civil engineering has provided tremendous return on investment. It has given me the needed skills to perform as well as I state and has the 'horsepower' of the Vanderbilt name to open doors.

Please tell us about one faculty member who positively influenced your experience in the construction management program.

Sanjiv Gokhale, Ph.D., was my instructor and mentor. He provided direct, quality instruction for me in several of my courses as well as oversight and direction for my graduate thesis.

Join a community of engineering experts at Vanderbilt University School of Engineering.

By fostering a holistic approach to an engineering graduate education, Vanderbilt University School of Engineering prepares ambitious, driven students to secure successful engineering careers in construction management

If you are seeking an innovative and rigorous graduate engineering degree program that will propel you forward and prepare you to transform the construction management industry, then we invite you to request more information or start your online application today.

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