Michelle Mondello DeCarlo ’07 ME

Associate, Jaros, Baum & Bolles (JB&B)

 

Michelle Mondello DeCarlo ’07 ME
Michelle Mondello DeCarlo ’07 ME

Q: What was your career path after graduation?

A: My career path after graduation unfolded with simplicity.  I was recruited by my current firm, Jaros, Baum & Bolles (JB&B) through the Villanova career fair and worked my way up. I started as an entry-level engineer in the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) department, doing calculations and basic ductwork and piping layouts for commercial buildings, hospitals and laboratories. I was mentored by an associate who guided me in the process of designing the systems from a project’s concept level through to construction documents and into the construction administration phase. Now I am an associate, acting as project manager for many large-scale projects and guiding other entry-level engineers to do the same. I work with architects, engineers, construction managers and owners in the design and construction of a project.

Q: What are you doing now?

A: At JB&B, I have had the privilege of working on a variety of prominent buildings in New York City. Presently, I am working on the design for 30 Hudson Yards, a commercial office building and the largest building of the new Hudson Yards Development on the west side of Manhattan. It has been incredible to be part of a team that has designed an entirely new neighborhood built right on top of an active rail yard. 

 

Michelle Mondello DeCarlo ’07 ME
Michelle Mondello DeCarlo, Associate, Jaros, Baum & Bolles (JB&B)

Q: What has been the highlight of your career to date?

A: Many of the projects I worked on have left their mark on me. However, I have found that the benefits of your career can span more than just your job description. I serve on the ASHRAE NY Board of Governors as chair of the Women in Engineering Committee. Through ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers), I was able to survey other firms and discovered that parental leave policies were largely non-existent and, most importantly, that maternity leave was less than sufficient. Based on these findings and JB&B’s internal policy goals, we worked within our own firm to craft a parental leave policy, one of the first of its kind in our business community, which addresses these issues in a more equitable manner. I hope this can serve as a model for other firms to implement.

Q: How did your Villanova education contribute to your success?

A: How did Villanova not contribute to my success? Not only did I get a premier engineering education but the Augustinian values such as Unitas, and the accountability to the common good, made me a better, more well-rounded person. The Villanova community helped me realize that you have to work together to get not only the best result, but also the best of yourself.

Q: What do you know now that you wish you knew then (as a college student or new graduate)?

A: I wish I knew the value of an in-person conversation. It starts in college by visiting your professors during office hours and continues in the workplace by getting out of your seat to go see your colleagues. It only takes a few moments to walk over to someone’s desk or call someone on the phone.  In our current technology-driven age, it is still so important to build tangible relationships with people face to face and not hide behind emails and texts.

Q: What one piece of advice would you give to the next generation of female engineers?

A: Put in the hours up front. When you are first out of college and have fewer family obligations, put in the hours and get involved. Hard work and commitment is noticed and the amount of additional knowledge and experience you will gain is invaluable. This will also help you develop your work style to figure out what works for you and prepare you for when you do need to balance more commitments. Employers are more willing to accommodate you when you need it if you have already proved yourself.