Employee Spotlight: From Intern to Senior Account Manager

An interview with Justin Olson, Senior Account Manager at Gordian

Justin Olson is all in, both for our clients and for his alma mater, the Clemson Tigers. Over nine years, Justin worked his way from intern to Senior Account Management at Gordian. In this short interview, we asked this dedicated team member and family man to share more about his career path, working directly with our clients and what inspires him to succeed.

“On a daily basis, we are interacting with owners and contractors to define the best approach while keeping value and simplicity in mind.”

Justin Olson

You started as an intern and you’re now a Sr. Account Manager for Gordian. Can you explain that experience and your success with Gordian?

I started with Gordian while pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Science and Management from Clemson University. Prior to starting with Gordian, I worked for several construction companies learning many trades including civil site work, carpentry and electrical studies, to name a few. During my extended internship with Gordian, I helped with many areas of our business. Some of the tasks and experience gained during my internship included helping the data engineers develop tasks for our Construction Task Catalog®, providing customer support for our procurement software and testing and providing feedback for new software.

My graduation aligned perfectly with a full-time job opportunity at Gordian. Gordian had the need for an Account Manager in the Washington, DC area, and I jumped at the opportunity. Originally growing up in South Carolina, I knew that one day I would want to move back to the South to be closer to friends and family. When a position opened up in Georgia, I took it and have been in the Southeast ever since. After a few years, I was promoted to Senior Account Manager, and since then I’ve worked with clients all over the region.

Gordian’s Account Managers were recognized by Sourcewell (formerly NJPA) for doing the most ezIQC volume across the company in 2016.

Briefly describe your job at Gordian and an average day.

The Senior Account Manager wears many hats. I work with a team of about 10 members who service the needs of the clients in the Southeast Region. On a daily basis, I am setting up Joint Scope Meetings, reviewing scopes and proposals, traveling between jobsites, assisting our business development and marketing team with customer engagement and providing assistance wherever else it’s needed.

What do you like best about your job and career path?

I love interacting with people and helping to find the best solution for a need. On a daily basis, we are interacting with owners and contractors to define the best approach while keeping value and simplicity in mind.

Tell us a little about yourself. What do you like to do when you’re not at the office?

During football season, you will find me cheering on the Clemson Tigers (who have just won their third National Championship!). Golfing, hunting and fishing, hiking and CrossFit are some of my hobbies, but I really enjoy spending time with my wife and our daughter.

What inspires you, both in your career and personal aspirations?

I have always been fascinated with how things work. From my childhood, I can remember taking every toy I received apart to see if I could figure out how it was built, why it was built a certain way and if I could put it back together—with or without all the original pieces and parts.

Although I like to separate my professional goals from my personal aspirations, I can see similarities in my inspiration to succeed in both. If you aren’t “taking it apart” and finding out what makes it work, you will never reach your full potential. On a daily basis, I am always looking for ways to improve by assessing actions, understanding outcomes and learning how to do better next time.

How do you define success?

I recently read a quote by Thomas Edison, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” This quote reminds me of the mindset I try to follow day in and day out.

What piece of advice would you give others in your profession?

Never stop learning and keep asking questions in order to succeed.