Claudia Thijs is the Director of Global Field Marketing at OpenSpace, where she bridges sales and marketing and leads a talented team of marketers who are helping more builders discover the benefits of reality capture. MR: Thanks so much for spending some time with us, Claudia. Let’s get to know you a bit better!…
Catching Up With… Claire Aldridge
April 24th, 2023
Claire Aldridge is a Customer Success Manager at OpenSpace. She works closely with OpenSpace customers (specifically general contractors), building a trusting partnership and ensuring they get the most value out of our platform. Claire conducts onboarding sessions, business reviews, consultation calls, on-site visits, and more to set our customers up for long-lasting success.
MR: Thanks so much for spending time with us to share your story, Claire. How did you get your start in the construction industry after majoring in Business Administration at Cal Poly? What about construction appealed to you?
Claire: I have always had a fascination with the built world. I knew I wanted to go into some sort of project management role out of college that was within the real estate or construction industry. I knew I wanted to be a part of helping blueprints turn into buildings and structures that people use and enjoy. I got a gig as a Furniture Project Manager at a corporate furniture dealer, where I led large furniture fit-outs for a well-known tech firm. That led me to an Assistant Project Manager role at a construction management firm where I learned the ins and outs of ground-up construction.
MR: And from there, you worked as a Project Engineer and Project Manager for several construction companies before joining OpenSpace and becoming a Customer Success Manager. What led you to make this transition in your career?
Claire: Once I started to see that construction technology was taking off, I felt myself gravitating towards that side of the industry. I concentrated on Entrepreneurship at Cal Poly, so startup life has always intrigued me. I also love interacting with people and wanted to be in a customer-facing role. So, the Customer Success position at OpenSpace was truly the perfect fit for me. It’s a fun merging of my education with my construction experience.
MR: How would you characterize your experience as a woman working in the construction industry?
Claire: Being a woman in the construction industry has been interesting! I would often find myself as the sole woman in meetings and on-site. However, I’ve realized that this has given me the opportunity to bring a valuable and unique perspective which I feel has been recognized and supported here at OpenSpace. It is exciting to see more women in construction tech positions, and I hope this trend continues as we show up for one another.
MR: You founded the Women in Construction group at OpenSpace. How did this come about, and what are the group’s objectives?
Claire: When I started at OpenSpace two years ago, I was given the opportunity to kick off this employee resource group. I’ve always been very passionate about advocating for women in the workplace and making sure that they continue to have a seat at the table. Especially in construction (as well as tech), being a woman in these industries can feel lonely at times, so I wanted this group to be a place for everyone to feel welcome and supported.
MR: I can say first-hand that you’ve created a meaningful way for women to be seen and heard. Thank you! What advice would you give to young women considering a career in construction?
Claire: Go for it! Continue to work hard and build a network. Join different groups and put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to show your confidence. One group I recommend is CREW Network, a global organization that advances all women in commercial real estate through business networking, industry research, leadership development, and career outreach. I’d also suggest people check out Lean In, which gives women the support and skills to navigate bias and lean into their strengths and gives companies the tools to ensure women have equal opportunities to advance and feel valued in their workplace.
MR: Thank you for sharing those suggestions. Lastly, what motivates and inspires you about working at OpenSpace?
Claire: Being a part of the construction technology wave is very exciting. We are making it easier for buildings to be built safely, and ultimately, this is contributing to our communities in a positive way. During my time at OpenSpace, I have been to many customer sites where they are building affordable housing, grocery stores, offices, schools, storage facilities, and more. Each of these projects is impactful. It feels pretty darn special to be a part of that.
MR: So true. Thanks again so much for sharing these insights with our readers.
Claire: My pleasure, thanks for the opportunity!
OpenSpace has a diverse, talented team across the globe. Some actively support our customers to keep them building better and faster. Some lead key departments and initiatives to keep OpenSpace moving forward fast. And others work in fascinating roles behind the scenes to deliver innovative technology that we’ll also explore. In this “Catching Up With…” series on the OpenSpace Blog, we’ll meet members of the OpenSpace team, learn about their roles and what motivates and inspires them, and give readers an inside look at OpenSpace. Looking for a new challenge and want to build something you can be proud of? Join our team!