News - High Rise: Project Manager Maria Krivtstova Reflects on Her Career in Construction

High Rise: Project Manager Maria Krivtstova Reflects on Her Career in Construction

by Rachel Heston-Davis High Rise: Project Manager Maria Krivtstova Reflects on Her Career in Construction

One advantage of a community-focused school like GC is the authentic connections that result in opportunities, mentors and friends. Maria Krivtstova '07, a Moscow native, experienced this truth when Greenville College connections brought her to the U.S. and set her on a sound career path.

Forged In Childhood

Maria's tie to GC was forged during her childhood in Moscow. Her father, Vladimir Krivtsov, served as a guide and interpreter to a group of GC students on an interterm trip with then sociology professor Rick Stephens. Vladimir and Rick struck up a friendship, and the Stephens family invited Vladimir to visit GC and speak at chapel. Two decades later, Vladimir sent both his children to GC.

Maria’s brother Artem Krivtsov  graduated in 2002, and Maria enrolled the next year. She studied business under the guidance of advisors Jack Chism and Ivan Filby.

The Path Is Laid

Personal connections laid Maria’s path to GC and would guide her steps after college, too. Through Ivan Filby, Maria met Charles McPherson '85, who offered her an internship at Facchina Construction. McPherson then helped her secure a job as project accountant for the Turnberry High Rise project in Virginia.

This led to an offer of lead project accountant for another high rise project, Quantum on the Bay, a few months later. At 21, Maria moved to South Florida and accepted this position of long hours and weekends consumed with work.

How GC Stacks Up

Maria pursued a master’s degree in construction management at Florida International University. For the first time, she was able to compare Greenville College to another institution of higher learning. At FIU she didn’t experience mentor relationships with professors or easy rapport with peers. These dynamics at GC had contributed to her success, Maria realized. She appreciated GC’s atmosphere all the more.

Prepared For Strength and Independence

Maria returned to work with Facchina in 2009. In 2013, she accepted the greatest challenge of her career to date. Facchina assigned her as project manager to refurbish 12 stories of a 1969 Miami high rise. Such jobs tend to be complex, prone to setbacks and targets for lawsuits; they typically require months of work with little time off on weekends and holidays.

Maria was nervous, but ready. She knew her education had prepared her. "GC encouraged me to be a strong woman and prepared me to be an independent critical thinker," she says.

Maria worked for two years on the $11.3 million project. Under her leadership, the renovation finished on schedule and with no major problems, legal or financial.

Maria saw the project as a testing ground, a chance to prove herself in the field. It worked. She is still employed as a project manager with Facchina and looks forward to a continuing career.

What Gets a Project Done

Maria gained many lessons from her education and career: an appreciation for community, a sense of confidence and the need for work-life balance, to name a few. GC also instilled in Maria the determination to influence the professional environment around her.

"This work that I do really allows me to shine a light into a world of darkness to promote a personal and professional life of truth, honesty, integrity, and service to others," she says.

She hit this message home at a recent speaking engagement to students at FIU. "Respect everyone at every level no matter their task," Maria told students. "All people matter. In unity, strength! That is what gets a project done."

Hear more from alumni who felt prepared for the working world after Greenville College:

Erin and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Job

Education That Prepares For Evolution

Prepared to Prepare: GC Alumnus Talks About Transitioning from College to Career

Music Business Major Prepares Students for Life After College


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This story was published on September 30, 2016

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