Some of us take a winding path to a career we love, and some meet that spark early. Pamela Abalu, chief architect and global head of design and construction at MetLife, knew as a kid she’d grow up and build things. Now, at 39, she’s breaking down walls, implementing the design of more than 15 million square feet of office space all over the world. Her secret? Taking responsibility, asking for what she wants—and occasionally wearing a ball gown to work.