Connecting with… Moustafa Qaddora

Name: Moustafa Qaddora
Title: Engineer II
Started at christopher: Beginning of June 2018
Current Town: Annandale
Alma Mater: George Mason University
Favorite DC tourist destination: Museums, museums & museums.
Favorite app: Twitter. I like it because all the posts must be short in comparison to other social media apps.
If I had three wishes:
(1) I wish I had read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey early on in my life.
(2) I wish I had utilized my spring breaks during college to travel through the US.
(3) I wish I had learned the technique of being patient ten years ago.
If I had to eat one meal for the rest of my life: For sure it would be Kabsah (Basmati rice, chicken and mixture of spices including black pepper, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, nutmeg and bay leaves)
Last movie I went to: Robin Hood
On Saturday you can find me: Either in the library, visiting relatives and family, or folk-dance (Dabke) performances

Moustafa’s life at christopher

Name a project you have enjoyed working on and why?
MQ: One of my favorite projects thus far is Hoffman Town Center in Alexandria, VA. This project is a high-rise mixed-use development. I like it because it involves building on an existing structure, which involves design constraints and parameters that are challenging. It keeps me alert, committed to the final goal and engaged with other various entities within the project.

What does a typical day of work look like for you?
MQ: A typical day of work starts by addressing my top priorities, which include concerns and requests from clients, if there are any. Because I plan my days ahead, I then go over my list of tasks that I prepared the day before. Tasks normally include design reviews, plan updates and county visits.

What keeps you at christopher?
MQ: The main thing that keeps me here at christopher is the transparency from my supervisors. My team has a bi-weekly team meeting to go over workload, goals, issues and other topics related to our team and to christopher as a whole, which gives me a chance to learn from others’ projects, as well as think of my work load.

I also love  the openness of the work area. This open concept allows me to ask questions to anyone within my reach and reach to other departments/supervisors easily and quickly.

What is your favorite company event, and why?
MQ: My favorite company events are the ones that are geared towards learning/growth, such as our training events held throughout the year. Having such events enriches my desire to grow and improve, for the good of myself and the company. 

What is the best piece of advice you could offer someone considering a career in civil engineering?
MQ: I once was told by an engineer, “We, civil engineers, are the general practitioner you see when you get sick. And if needed, we recommend a specialist to further investigate your condition”. I thought of what John said multiple times before I understood it.

As a civil engineer, it’s our duty to ensure that any land is designed to be built to serve the people, environment and habitat of the area. When a client comes to us to build on his/her land, we use geometrics, math, environmental science and economics to plan and design for that land. Ultimately, like doctors, our goal is to serve the people, environment and habitat of the area.

Performing the Dabke dance

Therefore, the best advice I would offer includes three parts:

First, before you seek a career in civil engineering, talk to at least 5 different engineers from 5 different companies from the 5 different specialties within civil engineering (structural, geotechnicial, transportation, water resources and land development). Second, after you get a good idea of how each specialty works, shadow one engineer from one company from each specialty. Third, pick the specialty you enjoy, are capable of doing and have the right opportunities for you.