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'Reverse Mentoring' Plays Role In Construction Of Boston's Newest Skyscraper

BOSTON (CBS) -- Boston's newest skyscraper may still be under construction, but it already stands out along the city skyline.  When it is finished One Dalton will stand 61 stories high, the third tallest building in the city.

It's an impressive building and an impressive way to start a career in construction for 25-year-old Rachel Paterson who has been on the job from the start, "pre-digging a hole, I've been here." As an Assistant Superintendent Rachel's role is to make sure all the pipes and wires have a place to go. She joined Suffolk Construction right after graduating with a degree in engineering.

Rachel Paterson and Tom Spall of Suffolk Construction (WBZ-TV)

There's no question she is learning a lot from her Supervisor, Tom Spall, "I've gotten a lot of leadership skills. Trying to run a job and organize a bunch of different people  is something that you don't really learn in school."

Construction underway on One Dalton (WBZ-TV)

At Suffolk Construction, it's natural to team up a new employee with a veteran, like Tom. But it's also become an unofficial type of reverse mentoring. "I could do a lot better with the keystrokes part of it and manipulating the software," explained Tom, while sitting at a laptop with Rachel. "This is where I kind of flounder and rely on Rachel."

Every inch of One Dalton was built virtually, using a 3D model, well before construction ever began. And these programs are Rachel's expertise. "She's able to just go access the tech and get them [the workers] answers very quickly," said Tom.

Rachel Paterson and Tom Spall (WBZ-TV)

Partnerships like these are building a foundation from one generation to another.  "You have to make the best of it and try to fill the gap of knowledge through that young and old," Tom told us, "through reverse mentoring, is a way to say it."

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