September 15, 2021

Under the Hard Hat with Aurelio and Simon Miranda

At Clark, we are proud to be made up of individuals from a variety of backgrounds and talents who thrive and succeed together. Our “Under the Hard Hat” series is designed to showcase the diverse people who make up the Clark team.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we recently sat down with Aurelio and Simon Miranda, brothers who work in Clark’s Mid-Atlantic Region, to learn about their background, what their Hispanic heritage means to them, and what they enjoy most about working in the construction industry.

Tell us a little bit about your background. 

Aurelio Miranda: Simon and I were born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved to Miami, Florida when we were four and six years old. Growing up, we would spend the school year in the United States and travel to Venezuela during the summer.

I graduated from Purdue in 2019. I am currently an engineer on the Pepco Takoma Park Substation project in Maryland. Our team is upgrading the facility as part of Pepco’s Capital Grid Initiative to improve the reliability of the area’s electric grid.

Simon Miranda: I graduated from Duke in 2017 and moved to Washington, DC to start my career at Clark. I’m a project engineer, and I am currently helping oversee MEP project development for a 139-unit affordable housing facility for So Others Might Eat (SOME). SOME is a charitable organization in the Washington, DC area whose mission is to fight homelessness, hunger, and poverty. 

What do you like most about working in the construction industry? 

AM: I love how this industry allows you to continuously strengthen your problem-solving skills. When I first started working for Clark, I was given so many unique responsibilities that allowed me to push myself to operate outside my comfort zone. The construction industry's fast-paced environment, blended with Clark's culture, creates a great environment for professional and personal growth. 

SM: My favorite thing about the construction industry is that it is both dynamic and static. Even though we are building permanent, static structures, the building process is dynamic. No day is ever like the last, but at the end of every day, you can always point to something physical that eventually becomes a landmark and will transcend time.

What brought you to Clark?

AM: My brother recruited me. I'd say he deserves a bonus! 

SM: I came to Clark through a mutual friend who recruited me. I also grew up watching my dad building small homes - but never to the scale of something like what Clark builds. I could not pass up the opportunity to learn from one of the best builders in the industry. 

What are you most proud of accomplishing, either personally or professionally? 

AM: I am most proud of maintaining my ability to speak Spanish. It's been a great skill to have on the jobsite and it allows me to maintain family connections. 

SM: The accomplishment I'm most proud of is graduating from college - it was a highlight that transcends my own lifetime. My grandfather moved from a small town in Venezuela to the capital to give my father a better life. My own father migrated to the United States with my mother, my brother, and I for the same reason. Sitting at my own graduation, knowing where I came from and understanding what graduating from a good school in the United States meant to my family, was an indescribable feeling. 

What does your Hispanic Heritage mean to you?

AM: Culture has a great influence on how a person develops, and I am grateful to have been built by two amazing cultures - Venezuelan and American. 

My parents are proud of their culture and made sure to instill the same sense of pride in us. This included speaking Spanish at home, attending an international elementary and middle school where half the classes were taught in Spanish, and learning our family tree and how different relatives migrated from their original cities and countries to Caracas. There are other day-to-day habits too, such as eating/making arepas in the morning or greeting respected family members with "bendicion" (translates to blessings). 

SM: When I think about my heritage, I think about my family and everyone who came before me to get me where I am today. I think about the importance of maintaining close relationships with my family. My Hispanic heritage reminds me every day why I do what I do, and who I do it for. 

What is the best career advice you've ever received?

AM: Be resilient. Work is an important facet of a person's life, but it's not the only one. Learning to balance these different facets has empowered me to be my best self at work and beyond. 

SM: Growth happens when you're uncomfortable. 

What does "Thrive as You, Succeed Together” mean to you?

AM: Developing and showcasing your own unique skills and qualities, while striving to become the best version of yourself, contributes to the overall team's success. 

SM:  Everyone brings something different to the team. Some people are good with numbers, others with social skills, others with technology, but no individual can achieve greatness by themselves. Understand the team you're in, understand everyone's strengths and weaknesses, and optimize responsibilities accordingly to achieve your goals.