Sydney Freeman: Onward + Upward


Sydney Freeman: Onward + Upward

Oct 22, 2020

The DAVIS logo was created with the onward + upward ethos in mind. It is both our legacy and our vision for the future. We're interviewing 20 people in '20 to find out what onward + upward means to them (along with some other interesting details you might not pick up on at the jobsite). Keep up with this series to get more insight into the DAVIS team!

Meet Sydney Freeman, Project Engineer.

We sat down with Sydney (over a phone call) to talk about her new role at DAVIS(she was hired in February!), her family's roots in architecture, her dream car, and more! Keep reading to learn about her.


You just got hired at DAVIS pretty recently. How's it going so far?
Yeah, I started at the end of February. I really love it here.

What were you doing before this role?
I came from an architecture firm, so it's definitely a learning process for sure. Being on the construction side feels more like asking for direction, and the architecture side was more like giving direction.

Having the architecture background definitely helps, though. It's easier to understand the drawings and that part of the process.

As Healthcare Project Engineer, what do you do?
I'm onsite helping the Project Manager out with anything necessary, and making sure the schedule's moving along. I send materials to subs, I work on submittals, RFIs, agendas, and meetings. 

Wow, that's a lot on your plate. What have you learned so far about construction?
I really wanted to start understanding the sequencing of how everything goes together. From the architect's side, I saw the finished project, but now I'm seeing how each detail works. It's a learning curve, but I've really enjoyed it. It's a good challenge.

When did you know what you wanted to do with your career?
So, my grandad's an architect in Tennessee, and I used to spend summers with him. When I was 12 years old, I was going to sites with him and watching him reroute conduit. I actually wanted to be a vet at first, but he convinced me to get into architecture. In my last job I designed hospitals and behavior health spaces, and I loved that--but once I got into the construction side of things, I started to like it even more, and it hit me that I wanted to make the switch. So, I applied for a job with DAVIS!

I've also been very lucky to be on a project at Children's National Hospital. My brother is special needs, and was sick all the time, so we were at Children's all the time. I really wanted to make an impact on hospitals make them operate better. 

That's a great motivation to have. 
Seeing the patients walk in and love the finished space is so great. Especially the little kids.


So, what was your childhood like?
Well I was very heavy into sports. I played soccer for 9 years and swam for 7. My first job was actually as a swim coach, and I used to do the Special Olympics with my brother. He was into track and field--but he's more into singing right now.

Do you get to play any sports these days?
I don't have time for much of anything these days! I'm constantly camping or fishing, and I have 2 dogs, so I'm way too busy. 

Two dogs, I love it. 
I have a 9 year old yellow lab, and I just got a COVID puppy. She's a mess, but she's good.

Do you have any secret talents?
I paint, so I guess that's a talent. And in high school, I got an award for photography--like a major one. So, I think I'm pretty good at that, too! Also, I recently started taking old furniture and restoring it. I just put a new top on an old dresser--I love the hands-on things, so that's why I'm in construction now.

I also heard that you drive a Jeep.
Yeah, that's my dream car. It's funny because at work, people ask "Whose Jeep is that?" It's all Fords in the DAVIS parking lot, so I guess I stick out a little.

One last question - what does Onward + Upward mean to you?
Whenever you find yourself at an obstacle, you just keep moving forward, regardless of how hard it is.