In honor of Women in Construction Week, meet Jennifer Villalobos, the VP of Business Development at Sharp Construction, a women-owned general contractor in Phoenix. Villalobos is also the co-founder of Girls Can Build, an initiative launched to inspire young women’s passions to design and build. Learn about Jennifer Villalobos…
Hometown: Salinas, CA
First job: I was 13 years old and was eager to get a job! I did an internship at the Boys & Girls Club in Salinas that would hire one intern at the end of the program. I was the lucky kid that was awarded a summer job in the cafeteria! It was a fantastic learning opportunity and remember that experience like it was yesterday.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in AZ: Escaping to Sedona and going on hikes to enjoy Arizona’s beauty. I don’t do this often enough but when I do, it fulfills my soul.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Launching Girls Can Build and fundraising over $200,000 to date, to create an educational curriculum that will expose young girls to nontraditional careers. It has been important for me to be a part of an initiative that would embrace and break down barriers for women.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Saying goodbye to corporate America and moving to Phoenix. After six years in operations management, I took the biggest financial and professional risk and started from scratch. I moved to Phoenix five years ago to enter a new industry and have never looked back.
Someone who inspires you and why: My parents. My mom and dad were immigrants from Mexico, who sacrificed and left everything behind to give my sister and I a better chance at life. It is the sacrifice they made that make me the ambitious person I am today.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Build a network of like-minded individuals, find a good mentor and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It was the mentorship that I received that gave me the opportunity to work in the industry I love so much.
Favorite quote: “If you work really hard and you are kind, amazing things will happen.” – Conan O’Brien
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I used to competitively bikini body build before moving to Phoenix. I love fitness and stay active. That experience taught me a lot about food, tracking and building confidence in the gym. Today, I share that knowledge with friends and family that are wanting a healthier lifestyle.
What makes someone fabulous: I believe someone who is fabulous is selfless and influencing others that need it most!