Jesse Unke is relentless. Not only is he heavily involved in mentoring, networking, industry groups and events. His LinkedIn presence is staggering. He has amassed more than 33,000 followers and regularly posts his advice on how to navigate the construction sector as an engineer. After serving in senior-level roles at some of the largest engineering firms in the country, Unke was named CEO and president of Maven Consulting in 2023.

And if that wasn’t enough, he also climbs mountains every weekend while chatting with other industry professionals. Did we mention he even builds lowriders?

SiteNews caught up with Jesse to chat about his passion for giving back to the next generation of construction professionals and what goes into building a personal brand.

SiteNews: You have built up a sizable following on LinkedIn. What would be your advice for others who are looking to grow their personal brand? 

Unke: I think authenticity is key. Being true to yourself, and the content you put out on LinkedIn is important, as people can see through someone who is posting for the likes. I also try to share content that is interactive, and people can gain value from (industry news, events, and insights).

SiteNews: Are there any authors, leaders or colleagues that have influenced your professional life in a profound way? If so, who and why? 

Unke: I have read a lot of Brian Tracy and Simon Sinek books, and had a very inspirational and supportive mentor when I started my career in engineering consulting at Binnie (Michael Richardson, past CEO, now retired). Michael was always there to answer my questions, and give me insight into what it means to be an executive leader. Michael’s guidance and friendship really helped set me up for success and making my way up the corporate ladder to now be a CEO of a consulting firm.

SiteNews: What are some ways that industry veterans like yourself can mentor and assist up-and-coming construction professionals? 

Unke: Make time to have respectful, honest and real conversations with junior folks in our industry, and leverage your relationships in your network to make introductions for these folks.

SiteNews: If you could go back in time and talk to yourself early in your career, what advice would you give? 

Unke: Trust your gut. Take more calculated risks. No one actually knows exactly what they are doing. Work smart, not hard.

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