As a part of HeatSpring’s free Solar Career Pathways course, professionals from across the solar industry provide students with an inside look at their careers through short interviews. Professionals share the details on what their jobs entail, their day-to-day activities, how they got there, and advice for those looking to follow a similar path. 

Anna Bautista, Vice President of Construction at GRID Alternatives, talks about her experience leading construction teams across the U.S. and internationally. She discusses how being in an executive leadership role within construction is dynamic and rooted in being the calm throughout the relative chaos that is construction work. The role is centered around people management. Comparatively, installing solar in the simple part. Being able to install solar while working with the wholeness of human beings is the more complex piece. 

Her day-to-day includes everything from building a culture of safety and quality customer service to unsticking complex issues to providing feedback to investing in her teams to ensuring her teams have what they need to complete the work. It’s a balance of addressing urgent issues with long-term goal setting and culture building. 

You can watch the full interview with Anna below.

“I’ve also had to learn how to be okay not having the most expertise in the room. It’s building a team that I can trust. Because of the stage of growth that we’re in…we’re really in programmatic growth mode…We’ve got design and engineering, procurement and logistics, project management, construction, O&M, and then all the different technologies of solar, storage, EV, other electrical services. And then all the different scales from resi/single-family, multifamily, commercial, megawatt size projects. I can’t be great at all of those things. I’ve learned that’s okay. I just got to trust who I built around me.” 

Anna Bautista

While the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Solar Career Map doesn’t specifically  highlight executive leadership roles within the installation and operations sector, many of the roles that were on Anna’s career journey to Vice President of Construction can be found there. Developing a holistic understanding of installation, design, and project management are all foundational in becoming a solar construction leader.

Interested in hearing from more professionals across the solar industry? Enroll today in HeatSpring’s free Solar Career Pathways course to hear more perspectives!