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Arcadis understands the value of investing in its people

Arcadis understands the value of investing in its people

 April 04, 2019

Christi Fu is the Deputy Operations Manager of Arcadis Contract Solutions Practice in the Western United States. She is responsible for Arcadis’ claims related service offerings and gets to work on a range of projects, such as roadways and highways, bridges, light rails, wastewater treatment facilities, airports, ports, and buildings. She has diverse experience in the construction and project management field as a contractor, as an owner’s representative, and as a consultant. She has strong technical understanding for construction claims analysis and resolution. 

She was recognized by Civil + Structural Engineer magazine as one of 20 Rising Stars, 40 years old or younger, who have shown exceptional technical capability, leadership ability, or public service benefiting the civil engineering profession, their employers, project owners, and society.

Christi discusses her career journey, how Arcadis has supported her progression, and why she wants to give back to the company.

Working in a job she really loves

After graduating, Christi worked as a project engineer with a contractor and, although she was asked to join the claims group because of her good organisation skills and attention to detail, she turned it down.

“I knew that even though I can write letters and create time-impact analyses, I really like interaction with people and being out in the field. So, they put me back on the jobsite and I was really happy to learn how things get built. I even became a superintendent for one project," explains Christi.

Christi began working with Arcadis as a claims analyst when the 2008 recession was affecting the industry. 

“When the economy is bad, there are a lot of claims. But when the economy is good, well, there are still a lot of claims," says Christi.

"Whenever you have a big project with so many stakeholders, there are almost always disputes and claims. Different interpretations to contract provisions are simply a reality of the business. And my time in the field served me very well, as it gave me greater understanding of how claims evolve and what they mean in real terms. Now, I just love my job.”

Receiving valuable support from Arcadis

Christi is also studying for an Executive MBA at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. 

“Sadly, they don’t teach enough management in engineering school. They don’t really teach you how to manage conflicts and staff, how to read a financial statement—all of the things that make operations successful," explains Christi.

"Fortunately, Arcadis has been very, very supportive of me getting my degree. They see great value in it, and they really invest in their people. My supervisor, Joe Seibold (Arcadis EVP), has been particularly supportive.”

Giving back to Arcadis

Christi likes to give back to a company that has given so much to her over the years of her career.

“I have mentored high school students through the ACE Mentor Program since 2006. It means a lot to me because I did not know about engineering in high school and wanted to educate students about it," says Christi. "I also enjoy telling parents that it is great and wonderful when their daughters want to go into engineering. So, on a bi-weekly basis I go to a high school or bring students to our offices and talk to them about what we do.”

“Caltrans also has a mentoring program where big businesses mentor small businesses. I’ve been doing that for the last five years. It’s a year-long program, and we meet every month about proposals, winning projects, business development, marketing plans, etc. When I can, I include the protégés as subconsultants on pursuits. That way, they get the hands-on experience and it’s experience they can’t really get anywhere else," she adds.

Understanding the importance of role models

And the reason why Christi invests so much time into mentoring? She understands the importance of female role models from minority backgrounds.

“When I was introduced to WTS-LA, it was just amazing to see all of these women in leadership positions, to see them all in one place. As a minority woman, there was just no place else like this. WTS-LA provides great programs, of course, but the chapter is also changing the industry."

"So, I looked at this group of very powerful, successful women and I knew I needed mentoring from them. So, Pattie Antich brought me in as her assistant treasurer. I had worked on a project with her about 10 years ago," continues Christi.

"In fact, she was the first project manager that I worked for when I moved to Los Angeles. She knew I could handle the tasks for treasurer and that’s how I got introduced to WTS-LA. So, now, through my work, my mentoring at ACE and Caltrans, and through WTS-LA, I look to learn from the role models I have and serve as a role model for young minority women rising through the ranks.”

Join talented women like Christi at Arcadis

At Arcadis, everyone is empowered to share new ideas and to contribute their own unique special talents and abilities to the company. Search and apply for a career with this prime employer today. 


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