As BIG RED DOG continues its expansion, we like to reflect on our team members that make our organization strong, creative, and supremely capable. For this week’s staff spotlight, we’d like to introduce you to Robert Andrado, a BIG RED DOG Houston Civil Designer.
Where are you originally from? I’m born and raised here in Houston
Tell us something really interesting about you. I’m really obsessed with old (independently owned) book stores. I can easily spend hours perusing through one. When my wife and I travel, I always keep an eye out in case we come across one.
Everyone at BIG RED DOG has a story about why they joined the team. What’s yours? I was working for another engineering firm. One day, on a whim, I sent out an application to BIG RED DOG via LinkedIn. Not to long after that I received an email from Bob. We arranged to meet, and I remember walking out of the interview completely blown away by the positive nature of our conversation. I didn’t join the company then, but I never forgot about how thoroughly impressed I had been with Bob’s presentation on the company, from its inception to where it is today, and where they want to go in the future. Well as luck would have it, a few months later I wound up having the misfortune of being let go by my company due to a slow-down in business which forced a rather abrupt down-size in staff. I ended up getting back into contact with Bob the following week, and he introduced me to Matt and Patrick. Long story short, I ended up being brought on to do contract work, then was offered a full time position as part of their civil team. I’ve never been one for clichés, but looking back at how I ended up here I can’t help but to agree with that old saying that “everything happens for a reason.” I truly believe BRD is a great company with a bright future, and I look forward to being a part of the family for years to come.
What drew you to the engineering field? When I graduated from college I had the intention of pursuing a career as a piping designer in the oil and gas industry. Unfortunately, with the down-turn in oil, that proved to be next to impossible. I ended up accepting a position with a small family owned engineering firm as a plat drafter. I worked in that position for close to three months then I was approached with an offer to transfer to their civil department to learn how to design. At that time I had never thought about working in civil engineering. I can honestly say now that the decision to accept that position was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Working in civil engineering is challenging, but it is also very rewarding. I treat every day on the job as a potential learning experience, and I love the fact that you really have to apply knowledge and creativity in order to solve problems.
What was your first job? When I was 18 I worked part-time as a cashier at a local HEB.
Who or what inspires you? I’m inspired by the idea that anything is possible if you’re willing to put the work in.
Where’s your favorite place to eat in Austin /Houston/Dallas (which ever city you live in)? My favorite place to eat is this little Greek Restaurant in Atascocita (outside of Houston) called SAVVAS. The food is always great, and it also doesn’t hurt that it’s 3 minutes from my house!
My favorite spot My favorite spot is D.G. Wills Books in La Jolla, California. It’s an old book store that’s chock-full of every kind of book you could imagine. It’s dark and dusty and a little cramped, but I love it. The owner has held the location for 10+ years. It also happens to be next door to my second favorite spot, a local coffee house called the Pannikin.
Where’s your favorite place to go/hang out in Austin /Houston/Dallas (which ever city you live in)? I don’t really have an all-time favorite spot in Houston to hang out, but one place I frequent is called Antidote. It’s a small coffee shop on Studewood in the Houston Heights that stays open late.
What do you like to do in your free time? Traveling or reading.
What’s your favorite news source? I’ll read the news from almost anywhere. I don’t have a go-to source.
Do you have any pets? My wife and I have two cats. One of them we rescued as a kitten in December, 2013. The second one we adopted from a friend.
What would be impossible for you to give up? I’d have to say traveling. I think it’s important to get out there and experience the world. We can read about foreign places, and we can watch other people visit them on television, but it’s so different to actually go there and experience it in person.
Who is your favorite sports team? I catch a lot of hate for it being that I’m a native Houstonian, but I’m a long-time Yankees fan.
Best vacation ever? My wife and I travelled to Split, a city in Croatia, this past summer. I’m a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain (author & travel expert) and he did a show in Croatia a few years ago, and it totally inspired us to get out there. We spent a week there, and it was nothing short of amazing!
Last book I read? “Mastery” by Robert Greene