For Women in Construction Week, we’re talking to the incredible women who make everything we do at Texas Materials possible. The accounting department is just as crucial to our operations as the quarries, asphalt plants, and construction crews. Thao Dinh describes how she got into this industry after immigrating to the U.S. and getting her degree in accounting.
Okay, my name is Thao Dinh. I’m working at Texas Materials as an inventory accountant. I was born in Vietnam, so I came to the U.S. when I was 21 years old with totally no English. I always had the love for numbers, so that’s why I picked that major. So after I got the bachelor degree in accounting I started working for Texas Materials for six and a half years. And I know that it’s always the right path for me. What I do is I work in the accounting department. I process inventory-related invoices. I analyze uses and production reports for our readiness and our three asphalt plants in San Antonio, to make sure that they’re correct before I post them to Viewpoint.
What I like about my job, is it’s good pay, of course, but I also learn a lot about this industry, such as how our products are produced, what raw materials are needed in order to create different kinds of materials, different kind of mixes. The difference between cold mix, hot mix, and ready-mix are terms that I’m so familiar with now, but before I had no idea. Another thing is great teamwork. During tight deadlines, such as in the main cycle, that’s when I see how strong the team collaboration is. If a person is behind, people on the team will spare the time to share the tasks to make sure that the whole team will stay on track to meet the management goals and expectations for timing and creating the financial report. Most of the time, it’s about teamwork. Yeah, that’s really encouraged me. It’s like, you feel like you’re not alone. So it’s always people, backing you up. So don’t be afraid, like, to make a mess. It’s like there’s always people helping you to make it correct. Yeah, that makes me feel so confident.
Okay, I guess people would think that working in the construction industry, it’s just for men only. So most of the time, they email me back and address me as “Mr. Dinh”. So right before working for Materials, so on the roads, when I see all the trucks driving by, I have no idea. It’s like, they’re all the same to me, but now I can tell by the name of the truck, oh, they are the hauling company. They are materials, they sell the material for us. Now, my family and my friends, they not only know who I’m working for, but they also see the work that we do and like how we do it. So that, I feel like, years later, when I’m riding on the road or I see the projects that our company was working on, I’ll feel like I’m a piece of that project too, and I’m so proud that I had once worked for the company that made all that happen.
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