Hanging out with … [solidcore]’s Jessica Fougner

The Director of Design & Construction for [solidcore] shakes things up with us on working remote, the power of Bad Bunny and why it is important to go at your own pace.


What’s the most cherished item in your office?
I’m currently not working out of our corporate office in the Logan Circle area of DC, and have been working remotely either from NYC where I am based, or from the road at a new site. So, right now my most cherished item it would be my laptop stand. The ability to have my laptop at eye level for my millions of GoogleMeets is key in allowing me to somewhat keep eye contact while toggling between documents and taking notes. It also ensures that my posture is somewhat maintained, or as best as it can, which is a hard one to do when you’re constantly working on a laptop.

What’s your favorite time to get things done?
I like to get work done early in the morning or at the very end of day. Getting tasks done in the morning while I am watching the news and drinking my first cup of coffee are typically, emails, or action item lists. Jumping on these in the morning enables members to respond to emails throughout the day and helps sets the tone for the rest of the day. Meanwhile, being able to get tasks done in the evening allows me to clear my head a bit and get tactical things accomplished after meetings and reviewing emails all day.

What’s the soundtrack that plays in the background of your office?
I love that web-based music apps have the ability to create playlists based on your recently played or searched music. It really is great to just let predictive technology actually do its thing, and I must say it is usually spot on and compiles a great list all my favorite music. It helps me focus on the work and less on the playlist.

Name the band you cannot take off your playlist.
I have to say Bad Bunny. He just reminds me of everything I hold dear—fun, not taking yourself too serious, being true to who you are and “everything” Puerto Rico.

What does a typical workday look like?
Do any of us have a typical workday? We’re all picking up after a global pandemic, so working with next to a ghost crew within a successful fitness brand that has major growth plans leaves no day as a typical day. But if there is anything typical, it is that I always have a lot of meetings and there is tons of coordination, planning and management that goes on in any given day. What those meetings entail and what that coordination is depends on the day and the priorities of that given day. What my boss would say is that there is a bit of an art and a science that is required in any given day.

What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened to you on a job site?
Having been in retail roll-out in some form for over 15 years, I have seen and been a part of a lot of crazy things. Having the team spirit for being up for anything to ensure a solution or problem is handled is the best part of being on a job site. I must say though, that one of the funniest things I’ve done while on a job site was drop my phone through the elevator shaft while trying to document the site conditions. Thankfully the phone was all right, but it took a lot of help, crawling through shafts and ductwork, and a bunch of laughs trying to retrieve it.

What are you binge watching right now?
I am known to watch anything on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Since I am always traveling I cannot seem to stay up on TV, but I will binge shows while on the road or when I just want a day to myself. I can recommend so many shows if anyone ever needs a recommendation, I got you. or Amazon Prime.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done since the pandemic hit?
Coming from the fitness world, once the pandemic hit and I was not able to go to my favorite fitness class, I created a global fitness challenge. I included friends and family among seven different countries and 15 cities. We used the time during the pandemic to ensure we focused on ourselves, committed to each other and we all supported one another with our fitness goals. The fitness challenges I created helped me realize I am not alone. It also helped fill my time with positivity, especially when there was so much negative going on in real life.

What has this experience taught you?
Time is truly the one thing we cannot get back in life. It’s how we spend that time and what we do and accomplish with it that makes a real difference in our legacy on earth. It is not the connections or the people; it is the actions and decisions we make in life that define who we are and what really matters to one another. We all have the same amount of time, and each second is the same for each one of us, it is what we do and how we decide to reflect back on it that creates something magical.

If you knew what was going to happen, what would you have done differently?
I would have spent less time worrying about what I should or could be doing to improve myself professionally and financially, and spent more time focusing on my family, and my friends. I could have used the time to drive to cities and destinations I have always wanted to visit, and worried less about what I was going to be coming back to.

Favorite comfort food.
I was raised by a very traditional Puerto Rican mother, so my comfort food go-to is always Puerto Rican food. One of my favorite treats whenever I come home is a fried stuffed potato, called papa rellena. It just brings back some great memories, and it is “so good.”

Best advice you ever received?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. In the end, they will always lead you to a solution and allow for a true learning process. If we are afraid to make mistakes, we also risk the opportunity for success.

Biggest influence in your life?
My mother. She came to the US from Puerto Rico in the ’50s. She did not speak English, but she taught herself how to prevail in life. She raised her siblings and got her parent’s jobs. She never had it easy, but her willingness to survive helped her create the life she has and, ultimately I have. She always taught me that life is not easy, but we can never give up because we truly can accomplish whatever we want as long as we are not afraid of the work involved to achieve it.

What trait do you most admire?
Preparedness. There’s something to be said about people who are prepared. They may not always have the immediate answers or solutions, but they have all the tools and time management to find the answers and solutions needed.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Take the time you need to allow yourself to grow at your own pace. Do not feel like you have anything to prove to anyone, even to yourself. Life is short, but you don’t need to be perfect and things will work out just fine no matter what decision is made.

What’s the first thing you are going to do when you are able to get back to some sense of normalcy?
I feel I’m lucky because I have continued to try to hold some sort of normalcy throughout the whole pandemic. But I can say that once restrictions are normalized and clear, I truly do want to book some travel and spend some time with those who I have only virtually connected with in other cities during this pandemic.

 

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