Board Member Spotlight March 2021
As part of our new Board Member Appreciation Program, we are showcasing a board member in our monthly Board Member Spotlight. Our board member spotlight recognizes board members of outstanding contributions to the profession and our local communities. For any questions regarding the program please contact the Past President PastPresident@ymf-oc.org.
For the March Spotlight, we would like to introduce...
MARYAM TAKLA, EIT
We asked her to state her name, company, and position(s) in ASCE:
Maryam Takla, EIT
Project Engineer | Turner Construction
External Activities Co-Chair | Construction Institute Liaison
We also asked her a few questions about the following:
Where did you grow up?
Northridge, CA (born and raised).
What made you want to become an engineer?
I felt the most confident in school when I was working in math and science subjects. I admired the architectural design in buildings and wanted to be a part of the push for building advancements.
Favorite hobbies, sports, and interests outside of engineering?
The best thing I ever did for my personal happiness was spontaneously attend a Jiu Jitsu class with a friend I had met a few days prior. It was completely out of my comfort zone and behavior. I was a freshman in college at the time and Jiu Jitsu was the therapy I never knew I needed. I was hooked and what started as a college stress relief became a life stress relief. I am also interested in interior design and enjoy watching interior design/makeover videos.
Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me...
in my bed watching home renovation or interior design videos.
What college(s) did you attend? Can you list your degrees, any honors, and involvement in engineering organizations during school?
I received my Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at California State University, Long Beach. The majority of my involvement in the student chapter was project oriented; serving as the PSWC Co-Conference Chair and Concrete Canoe Project Manager.
WORK & PROFESSIONAL LIFE
Describe your responsibilities and some significant projects.
As a project engineer, my responsibilities can vary greatly depending on what phase my project is in. In the office, I review shop drawings, contract drawings and specifications. I am typically onsite walking and coordinating with my subcontractors to ensure their work is completed as smoothly and safely as possible, per the drawings.
The most significant project I’ve worked on so far is the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood as an interiors project engineer.
What is your favorite part about being a Civil Engineer?
Our ability to impact and develop infrastructure is worldwide. I enjoy being a part of a group that is able to reach and help so many people with our efforts and teamwork.
What skills do you find most valuable to focus on in your career?
The construction industry is fast paced and a constantly changing environment. To counteract this, I am focusing on developing a calm mind and my adaptability to various challenges and environments.
What drew you to your specific career path? If you could start your career differently, what would you do differently?
There are so many hands-on learning opportunities! If there is something you don’t know, but want to learn more about, you can actually go outside and see it happen! In construction, you get to see and feel the progress in your work which motivates you, as opposed to you motivating yourself to work to progress.
I don’t think I would’ve done anything differently when I started my career. I enjoy where I work and even though I’m not particularly proud of them, my mistakes have taught me so much.
ASCE & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
How/Why did you get involved? Why did you choose to stay involved?
I got involved in ASCE in college when I learned more about the student competitions. I have always been a hands on learner, and ASCE provided that for me when my classes couldn’t. ASCE is an organization that educates, celebrates and cultivates civil engineering. These were the type of people I wanted to keep in my circle.
How has ASCE impacted your work and/or what is your favorite benefit of your involvement?
My favorite benefit from my ASCE involvement is the comfortable professional practice I get when interacting with my fellow ASCE members. I’m in a diverse group of professionals with various levels of experience and knowledge from different technical backgrounds. I am glad ASCE gave me the opportunity to meet these individuals I may not have otherwise met outside of my field of work.
Who is someone you admire and why?
Oddly enough, it's not a famous/historical person, an engineer, or family member. The person I admire most is my Jiu Jitsu professor, Alex D’Hue. I met Alex at the beginning of my first year of college and he was probably one of the biggest contributors to building my self confidence unintentionally. Alex taught me to be a fighter (figuratively) on and off the mats. It's inspiring to watch him try new things (surfing, archery, snorkeling, to name a few) and persevere.
If you have one piece of advice to give to young professionals what would it be?
My biggest struggle as a young professional is maintaining confidence even though I had no full time work experience. Act like you already have the position you want. Think of everything you’d have to do, from the clothes you wear to your day-to-day conversations. Dress to impress, walk the walk and talk the talk.
Lastly, what would be your personal motto?
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.” - Aristotle
If you missed the last (February 2021) Board Member Spotlight, Raul Rodriguez, you can click here to read her article.
To view the archive of all past Member Spotlights, click here.