Team members are a company’s greatest asset. At Ambit, we not only recognize that, we create and support a culture that cultivates lifelong learning, teamwork and leadership development. Every member of our team offers a unique and valuable perspective and set of skills.
This month, we wanted to spotlight Sarah Burgi, Operations Manager, who joined Ambit Consulting in 2015. Sarah is incredibly talented at her job, and an all around amazing and impressive person. After our interview we’ve featured here, we think you’ll feel the same!
Q: When you were young, what did you imagine doing when you grew up?
Sarah: I wanted to be a veterinarian. I lived in the mountains and had a cat that would get in fights raccoons and other animals and give me a chance to doctor him up.
Q: What initially got you interested in land surveying and telecommunications?
Sarah: Like many people in this profession, I sort of fell into land surveying. A friend called and offered me a job – her dad had started a civil engineering company and I had no idea what that was. I did civil for about a year in Bakersfield, California, then moved into the survey side.
Q: Why did you decide to join the Ambit team?
Sarah: I ran into Matt at a Land Surveying Craft Beer Guild outing. We got to talking and he asked me to come work for him. I realized this was the job for me. I joined the Ambit team in 2015.
Q: As a predominantly male industry, what have you found to be challenging as a woman in your field of work? How have you overcome this?
Sarah: As a woman in the field, I always had more men offering to do stuff for me. Clients would always do more to assist me than men in the field. A lot of times I have to convince people that I actually am the licensed land surveyor, I don’t always get the benefit of the doubt. This made me work harder and smarter. It made me want to learn more so people couldn’t question my knowledge or treat me different.
Q: If you could change one thing about this industry, what would it be?
Sarah: The perceived value of land surveying services. People want to pay less and less and it’s ruining the profession. A lot of companies offer low prices because they’re doing things as ‘land surveyors’ without the appropriate licensing, drawing things up without actually understanding state statutes. Also, after 2008, single-man companies started popping up, working out of their homes. The value of a complete team, like what you have with Ambit, is unmatched. We can handle more volume, are more open with communication, know the industry better, and can anticipate clients needs and consult with them better because of this.
Q: What advice do you have for other single working moms seeking balance (or sanity)?
Sarah: I have two kids, my 2 (almost 3) year-old Allicyn, and my 12 year old, Ryan. Balance is hard… I love my job and I love what I do. That really makes a difference in how I feel about how I’m spending my time. Also, finding good and inexpensive babysitters and making friends with other single moms is key. As my toddler says “I make me happy first”. That’s a great motto to live by to achieve balance.
Q: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time?
Sarah: Being outdoors. I’ll hike, go up to the mountains – anything outdoors.
Q: What is the last show you watched on Netflix?
Sarah: A Haunting in Connecticut. It wasn’t bad, the whole movie was scary, even if the end was cheesy.
Q: Where is your favorite place to vacation?
Sarah: Anywhere in the Southwest or Northwest mountains. Get me outdoors around green trees and I’m happy.
Q: What is your drink of choice?
Sarah: I’ll take an IPA.
Q: Anything else you’d like our readers to know?
Sarah: I’m proud of my extensive background that covers every aspect of land surveying. My experience is unique to the industry…not many people have done hydrographic surveying, 3Dscanning, timber surveys and telecommunications. My employers have provided me a great opportunity to learn and acquire experience and I really value that.
Sarah was also recently featured on The Geoholics Episode 012! She shares what it’s like to work as professional women in a predominantly male environment. You can listen to the interview at www.thegeoholics.com or on Apple Podcasts, Podbean and Spotify.