Seeking a New Career Path, Thierry Betole Unexpectedly – and Happily – Landed in the Construction Industry
Thierry Betole moved from his native Cameroon to the United States in 2008. He first attended Georgia Perimeter College, where he played soccer, before transferring and graduating from Southern Polytechnic State University (now part of Kennesaw State University).
With a degree in business, Thierry never envisioned a career in construction. But after bouncing around in a variety of jobs that left him unfulfilled, he discovered Construction Ready in 2019 and enrolled at the program’s Build Cobb location.
Thierry initially was hired by Nova Engineering, a Kennesaw-based firm specializing in consulting, geotechnical engineering, and construction materials testing and inspection. He was certified in concrete testing and worked on the materials side of the business. Today he is continuing his career in that field with College Park-based Engineering Consulting Services (ECS), which he joined in February 2021.
Here Thierry shares some insights and memories regarding his new career in the industry.
What led you to pursue a career in construction?
I was getting kind of bored, and a little bit discouraged, because I didn’t really have a solid career path. I was jumping from one job to another. I just started soul searching and trying to figure out what I was interested in.
Real estate was an interest of mine. I decided I needed to learn more about [the workings behind it]. I was searching online for how to get trained. Then I found out a friend of mine, John, had gone through Construction Ready. We talked about it and he praised the program. He is now working as a superintendent, so it was encouraging for me to sign up.
What were your impressions of the learning experience in Construction Ready?
I really didn’t know what I was getting into, but it was fantastic. The people there were very welcoming. I go by the energy, and there was a lot of energy there, and I kind of realized this was a great opportunity for me. Mr. [Raymond] Scott, our instructor, was very helpful, especially for me, since I didn’t have any background in construction and he’s someone who’s actually been on the ground doing this work.
Do any particular memories stand out from your first job in construction?
When I got hired by Nova, they wanted me to be a dispatcher, because I had some experience with a logistics company. I told my boss there was a reason why I picked this industry, and that’s because I want to be out there in the field and see how things get built. So that’s how I ended up working in materials testing.
I remember at the beginning, they put me onto an assignment at the Battery, where the Braves play. I tested concrete on the night shift and had a great time over there. It was very interesting. We were pouring concrete 24-7, rotating shifts throughout the process.
How did Construction Ready help prepare you for your work out in the field?
The program was very helpful, because they gave us the tools to go out there and know exactly what is going on. I had never been involved in construction, so I didn’t know much, and Construction Ready really gave me that foundation to work in this industry. All the things Mr. Scott taught us when it came to safety and everything that goes on at the job site, those are the same things that I witness on a daily basis
How have your experiences over the past few years helped change your life?
I kind of stumbled on to Construction Ready, but it completely opened my eyes to a different career. I never thought in my life that I would be involved in construction and that I would love construction so much.
Learn more about Construction Ready at constructionready.org.