Portland District People: Corina Popescu, Project Engineer, Small Projects Team

Corina Popescu on the job CROPPEDDescribe your job?
Planning, design, and construction of a variety of fast track small projects utilizing the SPT approach. Taking projects from cradle to grave. I answer a lot of emails and phone calls.

What inspires you or motivates you as you do your job?
I’m inspired to work like I’m working for something greater than me. We use tax dollars and represent the public and greater good. It’s not about me.

What are your career aspirations and how are you preparing to accomplish them?
I’m actually going on a two-year detail to the Omaha District to work in their Special Projects Unit. I’ll be part of their rapid response/special projects section, potentially working on disaster relief and hazardous waste treatment type projects. This has been a dream of mine for a long time. Working with the Small Projects Team has helped prepare me for fast tracking projects and constantly working on my communication will continue to help me prepare for the move.

What is the one thing you need in order to do your job better?
I constantly need to be reminded that I need help and that I’m not alone. There are so many resources out there and knowledgeable people, I just need to ask. It’s always a team effort to be successful.

Tell us about your first job?
I used to work at a Baskin Robbins at the Vancouver Mall. Scooping ice cream was fun; one time, I sold this teenager seven scoops on a waffle cone. He asked how many I could put on there as a joke, and I said seven and his eyes got real wide. I hope he didn’t eat all of it in one sitting.

What is your favorite film and why?
Fried Green Tomatoes; I love the display of friendship through difficult situations.

What is your favorite book and why?
The Bible. Every time I read it, I get something new out of it. It’s always challenging me to be better.

What are your hobbies? Why do you like them?
I love rock climbing, going to concerts and cooking. I love being outside and being active. Music and cooking help me relax.

Who or what inspires you, and why?
My dad inspires me with how hard he’s worked for everything in his life. Nothing was given to him and he lives the American Dream, emigrating here from Romania. He started as a PDX janitor and now owns his own civil engineering firm. He also reminds me from time to time that everyone poops, which helps me remember that we are all human.

IMG_5178What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done? Would you do it again? Why or why not?
I went bungee jumping this last summer; that was pretty crazy. I’d do that again. I’ve also attempted to eat a 10 pound burger, by myself, within an hour. I definitely would not do that again.

What is your favorite quote? Why?
Proverbs 24:16 “Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again…” It helps remind me to not give up. And that it’s not about being perfect, but about getting back up when I fall down.

If you could have a super power what would it be? Why?
I’d totally fly. Who wouldn’t want to zip around with the wind in their hair and never have to experience traffic again?