For Abi Veeramaheswaran, working in construction is about more than the career. It’s about securing a future for her family and making sure they’re happy. Since moving to Canada in 2010, the construction industry has welcomed Abi with open arms, never treating her differently or excluding her from teams.
“Coming from an immigrant background, I’ve met a lot of people who, when I tell them what I do, are surprised this kind of career exists for them,” Abi admits. “My path is drafted the way I like. I’ve never had the worry of not having a job tomorrow. The industry has treated me so well.”
Starting her career in Dubai, as a project coordinator, Abi is now working as a senior estimator on a joint venture with PCL-EllisDon to rehabilitate Parliament Hill’s Centre Block, the most complex rehabilitation project ever in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Her role as an estimator is just one of many “support services” in the construction industry that are imperative to the success of any project.
“As estimators, it’s our job to make sure the company makes enough money,” Abi explains. “We’re heavily involved in the pre-construction stage, conceptualizing, pricing, and consolidating. Estimators make a map for project managers for when the crew hits the ground, and make sure the math behind the project is done right so everybody is happy at the end of the day.”
In addition to her degree in civil engineering , Abi recently achieved her Gold Seal Certification as an estimator along with her PQS (Professional Quantity Surveyor), which are prestigious in the industry and help speed up her career progression. But perhaps more importantly, Abi has seen personal growth she never imagined.
I’ve grown to become more of an extrovert. The job brought it out of me,” she says. “It completely changed me as a person—in a good way. I get up in the morning and I want to go to work. Just meeting people and being able to help each other, that’s the part I love most about this job.”
This industry has also given Abi career stability, which translates into a better future for her and her family.
“We landed here [in Canada] 13 years ago,” Abi shares, “and today, we have a beautiful home and my kids have a beautiful, wonderful future. My job has helped me secure that for my family and for myself. I’m very grateful for that.”