UC Davis Construction Management grad, Jon Davis, poses in front of a construction site
Senior Project Manager Jon Davies in front of a project that Royal Electric Company is performing under a subcontract with Jackson Properties for UC Davis Health. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Muller)

Building a Successful Career in Construction Management

A thrill seeker by nature, Jon Davies likes to conquer his fears head on. In his youth, he pursued BMX, Motocross and Snowboarding. As an adult, he chose a career path that would allow him to overcome a childhood fear of being shocked by electricity by staring it straight in the face. “I gravitated towards the electrical trade, because it gave me the opportunity to conquer my fear of electricity and manipulate its energy into unique functioning design,” says Davies. He has since reached new heights in his career and is now a senior project manager at Royal Electric in Sacramento.  

Davies began as a field electrician, where he frequently worked with project managers. Inspired by the position, he sought out ways to attain this role himself while also maintaining his full-time job, when he discovered UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education's Construction Management Certificate Program. “I did not have the availability to attend a traditional college,” he explains. “The UC Davis Construction Management Program gave me the ability to work in the Bay Area in the daytime and drive back to Sacramento to attend classes at night without impacting my work schedule.”

UC Davis Construction Management grad, Jon Davis and an intern review progress of a construction site
Davies (left) and Project Engineer Intern Jose Maldonado reviewing progress on the project. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Muller)

Embracing New Opportunities

Davies’ biggest challenge upon entering the program was balancing his personal life, career and classes. “However, the drive to further my education in the industry and open new opportunities superseded the challenges faced,” he says.

Shortly after completing the program, Davies was able to achieve the goal he set out for himself sooner than expected. “The electrical contractor hired me for a field electrician position and, within a few months, I was given the opportunity to come into the office, where I began my journey on the operations side of construction,” he explains, noting that the Construction Management Program was his ticket out of the field.

It gave me the ticket out of the field and into the operations side of construction.”

Davies says that the most valuable thing he got out of the program was gaining real-world knowledge from subject matter experts. “Hearing real-world examples to accompany the course content was extremely helpful to understand the magnitude of these roles and skill sets in construction operations.”

Becoming the Expert

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His drive to confront challenges head on—whether it be overcoming his fears or finding a way to continue his education—has helped him achieve the career of his dreams. “I have applied the lessons I learned in the program and used them as a base to nourish my own growth as a subject matter expert in my respective discipline,” says Davies, adding that his biggest joy is to see a project go from early schematic design to construction completion.

“As soon as the main switchgear is energized, the transformers start humming, and the lights turn on, it is like the beating heart and the lifeblood of the building is now flowing,” he shares.

Looking ahead, Davies aspires to continue growing and building his skill set, sharing his expertise with up-and-coming project managers along the way. He eventually hopes to represent Royal Electric at the project executive, regional manager and COO level.

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