In our newest installment of Consultants in Conference Rooms Getting Coffee, Consultant Tara Kammouna, shares about the projects she’s working on, how her role has grown at Vantage, and what she enjoys to do in her free time. Get to know Tara below.
What is your background (where are you from, where did you go to school…)?
I was born and raised in Iraq and I went to school for architecture. I moved to Austin, TX and started working for an architectural company. I started as an intern architect and mainly did drafting. Eventually I learned more about the projects and started to design as well as draft. I wanted to do something different and since I have an Auntie in Los Angeles, I decided to move out here. I would visit a lot and loved the weather and the opportunities of this city.
How did you become part of the Vantage team?
I was looking for anything in architecture. I found the Vantage Engineer job posting asking for Revit and architecture experience and I always thought technology would be an ever-changing field, so I applied. I started as an Engineer, helping the production team and have been promoted to Lead Engineer and now, Consultant.
And how long have you been at Vantage?
I started in July 2016.
What do you do at Vantage?
Now I’m managing more projects and not just doing the drafting and production work. If I were to explain what we do, I’d say that we design the infrastructure and network systems for technology to work. We’re not only engineers we’re consultants. We make technology work.
We make technology work
What were some of the projects you’ve worked on recently?
I’m doing a lot of scoping documents for new projects. This is new for me and I’m learning a lot. I’m also helping with developing technology standards. We are working on the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) AV standards and this is much different than regular drafting work. I’m grateful that I’m learning a lot of new and different things this year.
I’m managing several projects and being a Project Manager has a whole new set of challenges. Dealing with budgets, meetings, coordination among the design team and stakeholders is a lot but I like the challenge.
I’m grateful that I’m learning a lot of new and different things this year
How is this different than where you started?
The first project I worked on for Vantage was doing the drafting and production work on Sutter Health CPMC Van Ness Campus and the Sutter Health CPMC Mission Bernal Campus. I worked on BIM coordination and responding to RFIs. Since they were two large projects, I mainly focused on production work, so I like that now I can learn about other aspects of a project.
I like that now I can learn about other aspects of a project
I also worked on the Sacramento Courthouse. That was one of the first new projects that I worked on. It’s different starting a project from the beginning. You get to design everything about the project and watch it grow and to see it progress is very rewarding. The Sacrament Courthouse Revit model is my baby [laughs].
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done at work recently?
I went to my first project interview a few months ago. I was able to showcase our project work and elaborate on any questions the interviewers had. We won the project, so I guess it went well [laughs].
What do you like most about working at Vantage?
I like that there is always a space to grow and improve. I appreciate the trust that we have with each other. I also like that everyone is willing to help and teach me. If I have a question, there is no hesitation to help me find a solution. Everyone treats the project they’re working on like it’s their own project and wants to do the best they can for the client and the team. I like the encouragement to grow and succeed and the opportunity to progress throughout the firm.
I appreciate the trust that we have with each other
What do you do for fun outside of work?
I’ve recently tried horseback riding and I love it. Also being new to Los Angeles I like discovering new places to hike and new restaurants to eat. There are so many options and things to do so that’s amazing.
What’s a fun fact about you many people may not know?
I think everyone knows that I can’t go a day without chocolate [laughs]. I think what people may not know is that I’m a person that likes to try new things. I’ve learned to play the piano and violin just to try something new. I love learning languages and about others’ cultures and can speak Arabic and English and understand French.
I like the encouragement to grow and succeed and the opportunity to progress throughout the firm