I was born/grew up in:Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I now live in:Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I completed my training/education at: I completed a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences at the Université de Montréal. I followed this with a Graduate Diploma in Communication Studies at Concordia University.
What I do at work
My official job title is webmaster, which means that I work on websites. More specifically, I update websites and publish new content, so that everyone can see it on the Internet. People like me make sure that a website functions well, that the content is accurate, and that visitors have the most up-to-date information.
This job requires skills in communications, but also in computer science and computer programming, which I didn't study in school, but learned on the job. The only equipment I use is a software program on my computer that allows me to make changes to the websites. This software is really old and sometimes unpredictable. It doesn't always allow me to make the changes that I want. I learned this software inside out and adapted to it so that I could predict its unpredictable behavior.
The decisions I make all have to do with designing pages and menus on the website. I look at how these pages will look, and think about how a website user will navigate through the pages. The coolest this is that I get to work from home! I interact with my colleagues by email or by telephone. They’re sometimes really demanding, but I’ve learned to manage my time efficiently to answer everyone’s requests.
My career path is
When I finished high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew that I liked science, so I decided to study biology in university. I discovered a passion for science, and more importantly for talking about science. I was the best presenter in my classes, and passed a scientific vulgarization course with flying colors. This is a course where you learn to take complex scientific concepts and make them understandable to the non-scientific community. One professor in particular made me realize my potential as a science communicator. He was an incredible professor and inspired me to become a good science educator. After my studies in biology, I decided to do more studies in communications, with the intention of combining my knowledge in biology with my communication skills.
After I graduated with my B.Sc. I worked as an administrative and communications agent for the Research Centre of the University of Montreal Hospital Centre (CRCHUM). I performed webmaster duties and managed their social media communication. This led to my current position at CloudRaker. As a freelancer I can choose my hours so I’m working about half time at CloudRaker. At the same time I’m continuing to follow my passion in science communication. I recently took a communications internship at CBC. Here I am using the knowledge I have from the diploma in Communication and Media Studies and building my experience. As I look at the studies I’ve done and the jobs I’ve had, both in science and communication, I am very proud of the skills that I’ve acquired and the experiences I learned from. I’m looking forward to new opportunities to use my skills and knowledge!
I am motivated by
I like the fact that I’m in charge of managing a pretty big website. I have to make sure that everything works properly on the site and that visitors get the right information. Although I don’t get to be as creative as I would like, I use my creativity to design pages and solve problems! Any request that allows me to think and be creative is a task that I appreciate! I also appreciate that I’m gaining incredible skills in this job. In addition to new technology skills I’m learning time management and prioritization.
How I affect people’s lives
The site I manage is a pharmaceutical website that gives medical information to clients and patients. Clients go to the website to get information about their health and different medications they could use. Pharmacists also refer to the website for prescription and medication orders. I have to make sure that all the content on the website is completely up to date, because the slightest mistake can make someone sick.
Outside of work I
Outside of work, I teach Zumba Fitness. This brings out the entertainer and educator side of me. I love promoting fitness and healthy living. I also act whenever I can. I recently performed in a play at the Montreal Fringe Festival.
My advice to others
Achieving your dreams is incredibly difficult. Know that you have to work incredibly hard, and that perseverance and patience are key. Network and expose yourself to as many opportunities as you can. And if nothing works out, be creative, think outside of the box and do it yourself!