For the past 17 years, Leonil Carreon has been enjoying a project management construction career with a local real estate company in his native Philippines.
But when his wife was selected to attend a global finance development program in her company’s headquarters here in the East Bay, Leonil took advantage of the opportunity to further his own education in construction management. Advanced studies in the field would give him an edge, especially on understanding new concepts, trends and technologies.
Looking for career-advancing skills in the Bay Area led him to UC Berkeley Extension’s Certificate Program in Construction Management.
Sharing Knowledge, Sharing the Workload
I recently got a chance to speak with Leonil about his experience with our program. From the beginning, it was evident that his interactions with fellow students was a highlight of the program.
"We got to learn a lot from each other's own work experience and from sharing our own understanding of the various coursework that we took together,” he explains. “We listened more than we talked. It was the best interaction that I have encountered in an academic setting."
It was that spirit of in-class collaboration that made Construction and Facilities Project Management a favorite. Leonil appreciates that the group’s research into case studies helped him learn from his classmates, as well as offer his own knowledge. "With our diverse backgrounds," Leonil shares, "we were able come up with better and well-thought-out solutions." In the course, Leonil and his fellow students learned to think systematically about the stages of facilities construction to control all aspects of facilities construction and renovation.
Lean Construction Transformation was another favored course, as Leonil felt that the curriculum taught him the tools, techniques and management skill sets that he can employ in future endeavors. In this class, principles of lean project management—originally derived from the Toyota Production System—are applied to common construction processes and challenges.
Learning From the Best
When asked about whether he had a favorite instructor, Leonil was enthusiastic. “Yes I have! He's my teacher in four major courses. I learned a lot, from the way he explained concepts and ideas to how they apply to the real world to his sharing of his extensive personal work experience. All of those methods made us, and myself especially, a better professional when I finished and got out of the various coursework. He is Mr. Peter Furst! Thank you, sir!”
Get What You Want From School
Now back in the Philippines and applying what he learned on the job, Leonil has nothing but praise for the construction management program.
"It was the best academic experience that I have ever attended! I can say that the program answered most, if not all, of my work's challenges and problems. I learned the latest on this evolving industry: lean construction, BIM, automation, new project management tools and techniques, LEED and so much other new knowledge. I got what I came for!"