About Daniel Ji
How long have you been at UPI?
Can you describe a typical day or week in the job?
Dynamic and fast-paced would be an understatement – especially when working with multiple projects/project teams. Adaptability and multi-tasking is a must, especially around Month End Reporting.
What’s the one thing people should know about you?
We’re a family of die-hard Longhorn fans (both my wife and I are UT graduates), but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate our Aggies 😊
What do you love about your field of work?
Working with different people/clients, interacting with different departments, and the fast paced nature of the business! It’s oddly satisfying seeing a project through from conceptual design all the way to Construction completion.
What do you do for fun?
I love sports (both watching and playing), Skiing, coaching my son’s soccer team, cooking (when I want to, not when I have to😊), and working out (sometimes!)
Why is your job in project controls so important?
Project Controls is an essential function, not only for our clients (forecasting and tracking costs/scope/progress/schedule), but for internal needs as well required to manage and set expectations for Margin/Revenue/Invoice.
Advice for anyone wanting to get in your field?
Find a good mentor! Also pay it forward and mentor others. I’ve learned an incredible amount of knowledge just from interacting with other Project Managers and/or Project Controllers as well as Finance/Billing.
How do you measure success in your position?
Willingness and ability to quickly adapt in a fast paced environment. Also never be afraid to ask questions – no matter how silly they may seem.
What’s the best job decision you ever made?
I fell into Project Controls by mistake. I was originally a Financial Analyst with Dell after graduating and accepted an EXPAT assignment with Project Controls before ever knowing the term “Project Controls.” Needless to say, 19 years later, I have no regrets.
What’s your greatest career strength? Weakness?
I believe multi-tasking and quickly picking up on things while remaining efficient is one of my greatest strengths. A weakness I have been working on is to be more vocal. Many of our meetings are technical in nature and don’t necessarily involve Project Controls. Sometimes just asking the right questions (ie: is this in our scope of work, and if not, does this impact anyone else?) goes a long way and gets people thinking outside of the box.