Staff Spotlight: Adreanna Broussard’s Path of Identity, Disruption and Pushing Boundaries in Professional Engineering
Otak takes pride in highlighting new members of our team who remind us of our core values. Meet Adreanna Broussard, project controls analyst with TWG, and the subject of today’s staff spotlight.
Adreanna Broussard knew from an early point in her career she wanted to play an active role in the built environment. A voracious learner, she had early dreams of getting into architectural engineering, however the University of Texas at San Antonio, her alma mater, did not offer that degree. Faced with uncertainty about her next steps, she leaned on her family for guidance.
With her father an electrical engineer and her mother a nurse, the values of hard work and determination saw her take an interest in civil engineering. Adreanna identified the value of the field as part of the same world, where she could make an impact on how communities are built and experienced. She was drawn to the dynamic factors of the profession. In her words, “I craved the disruption that civil [engineering] provides. It’s a comfortability with being uncomfortable that has made me a better professional and better able tackle challenges within a constantly changing industry.”
What is a Professional Engineer (PE)?
A PE, or Professional Engineer certification, signifies that one is recognized by the state as an owner of their work and an expert in the field. Adreanna says a PE opens the doors of the engineering world, enabling those who earn it to work independently, as a consultant, or as an integral member of different firms helping guide projects along. Upon gaining the certification, she will be able to officially sign and stamp official documents as the PIC, and further elevate her aspirations of becoming a luminary in the industry.
Adreanna credits her hands-on work in civil engineering after completing her degree for making her the well-rounded professional she is today. With an understanding of how projects work on the ground level, she’s able to make quick decisions and see the big picture. As a current project controls analyst, she’s responsible for scheduling, monitoring cost, and managing a wide scope of factors that come with reporting on a project’s lifecycle. However, like a true Otakian, she seeks to continuously improve and grow her skillset. She’s currently doing this by studying for her PE exam, with plans to take the test in November.
When asked about her approach to preparing for the exam, Adreanna emphasizes while studying is important, it goes deeper than textbooks, and she draws on her experience from the totality of her career. She’s seen firsthand and worked with the people who bring design plans to life, and her early opportunities allowed her to wear many different hats, gaining experience with every aspect of the design-build process from paperwork to planning.
Like her, the test is practical. A believer in the power of education and like a true engineer, she loves to learn and take things apart, understanding the science and the art behind building a structure. There’s also an ethical component to the exam, which aligns deeply with her belief in equitable placemaking and community building. Unafraid to bury herself in a practice test or book, Adreanna’s tenacity gives her confidence and motivation to keep studying, to keep working, and keep being the best she can be.
Identity and Aspiration
While looking to elevate herself within the industry, she is also mindful of the space she inhabits within it. It’s no secret the AEC industry, especially in positions of leadership, lacks a diversity and depth of perspective from female leaders as well as leaders of color. She acknowledges this reality, yet views it as an opportunity to rise to the occasion. For this, she relies on experience she’s gained outside of work as a Division I NCAA basketball referee. A similarly male-dominated world, she is well-versed in making her voice heard, her decisions final, and her respect earned not just from her identity, but her experience as a professional. Being a referee taught her how to be accountable, how to carry herself with a professional demeanor, and how to navigate complex and high-stakes situations. She says she draws on this experience almost every day. Adreanna wants to be that leader that breaks the ceiling, and knows what she brings to the table.
Adreanna’s Role Within Otak
To say Broussard’s experience is valuable would be an understatement. She knows her value, and was seeking an employer who understood it too. Dave Hawkins, principal at TWG, knew this and brought Adreanna on without hesitation. When asked about her experience since coming under the Otak umbrella, she emphasizes her appreciation for our community of people, our culture, and our network to which she now has access. Otak is proud to have someone like Broussard among our ranks, and her value, especially from us, will only grow as she grows.
When asked what she would tell potential engineers looking to advance their careers, her advice is to be patient, go at your own pace, and be aware that not all journeys are linear. Every experience is unique, and Broussard emphasizes that her journey, while different, only makes her a stronger professional and a better person.
We’re excited to see her career grow at Otak. Well done Adreanna!