Today’s installment of 5 Questions features Tim O’Connell, a boomerang HOK employee. Tim worked at the DC office first in 2000-2001, moved to Boston, and then decided he simply couldn’t stay away and rejoined HOK WDC in 2006.
Q: What five words describe HOK?
A: Versatile, Exciting, Innovative, Influential, Design and Quality-Focused,
Q: What is your role at HOK?
A: I am a jack of all trades, but specialize in laboratories. Recently I have been working on the DC Consolidated Forensic Lab, where I have served as a partial Project Manager and partial Project Architect, splitting duties with Aaron Altman. I’m also working on a confidential government lab facility where I am doing lab programming. I also help you on projects like the GSA Unit Cost Study.
Editor’s note: Tim is a great colleague – super responsive, very smart…and no, I’m not just saying that because I plan to ask him a favor soon.
Q: What is your typical day?
A: My days are fairly regular because I work mostly on large projects with long timelines (although there is still definitely constant pressure to make deadlines). I ride my bike to work in the morning, get in a little earlier than the rest of the crowd, check my email, touch base with my team to make sure everyone is on track, and then work on my own tasks [which involves a lot of talking on the phone and going through more e-mails]. I take a walk at lunch every day, which is good for fitness, clearing my head, and energizing me for the rest of the day. My afternoons are much like my mornings: check email, check in with the team, and work on my own tasks. I then head back home on my bike, stopping to pick up my daughter at school.
Q: What do you do outside of HOK?
A: I’m a dad to a beautiful 4-year old girl. I cook a lot too, but I leave the baking to my wife. I also ride a lot for recreation, and am training for a triathlon. And of course, I like to hang out with my family and friends.
Editor’s note – check out Tim’s uber-informative bicycling post on The Green Workplace: Keep That Resolution, the Five Keys to Commute by Bike.
Q: What is your favorite part of working at HOK?
A: One of the things I really like about HOK is that people are given a lot of responsibility, but also given the authority they need to back up that responsibility. I know I can count on my supervisor [Susan Klumpp, best boss ever] to support me up and not to second guess my decisions. HOK is very interested in building on the strengths of its staff, and the possibilities here are unlimited. If I wanted, I could reach out and work in any one of our service sectors, or specialize in a particular building type.
The other thing I really like about HOK is that it is a design-focused firm. We work on a lot of interesting projects, and are not simply drafting or doing standard spec office buildings. There is no project that is too big or too complex for HOK to take on and succeed at.