I was born/grew up in: Born and raised in St. John’s, NL.
I now live in: St. John’s, NL.
I completed my training/education at: I received a M.Sc. in International Marine Environmental Consultancy from Newcastle University (UK), a B.Sc. in Biology from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and a Masters Certificate in Project Management from York University.
What I do at work
I am the leader at Edgewise Environmental. At work I am the one driving the bus. I make the large decisions and am the one who is steering the business. I am responsible for engaging with clients and looking for new opportunities.
My average day includes a LOT of emails! I have regular online and in-person meetings, as well as daily startup meetings with employees and financial management. There is also a lot of travel involved in my job. On average I travel every 2-3 months to other parts of Canada where we do business. Sometimes I also travel to other countries.
Our primary working language is English however I have had to communicate in French. At times I have also been required to communicate in Norwegian and Russian on various contracts. When you know you are walking into a situation where other languages are being used it is important to make the effort to communicate in the common language. It builds camaraderie and trust.
Problem solving is a key part of my daily job. I am always strategizing and solving issues. My problem solving strategies are different depending on the situation at hand. Regardless of the issue being faced I always step back, take a breath and NEVER respond out of emotion. It is important to make rational, strategic and meaningful decisions. Sometimes that involves removing yourself from the situation to ensure you fully understand what the issue is. This is primarily for the big stuff. The smaller day-to-day issues are easy decisions to make. Day-to-day issues come down to three main things: time, money and quality. I make sure I am being efficient with the company’s time. I also make sure I understand the cost of the undertaking and that it can be completed to the highest quality.
My career path is
When I was in high school I absolutely knew I wanted to work in the field of marine biology. I knew I wanted to work with marine mammals from a young age. But never did it cross my mind that I would take interest in underwater sound OR that I would start a business. The journey to those decisions and interests happened through experience as I completed my degrees and worked offshore. Life is not linear. It will take lots of twists and turns. It will offer weird and wild experiences and I grabbed onto as many of those as I could.
I started working offshore because of my Biology degree AND my decision to go to England to do some separate training. I developed a deep love for acoustics from a volunteering experience in Costa Rica (when I wasn’t sure I wanted to do Biology anymore). My experiences offshore helped me develop the idea for a business. This idea sat in my head for over 8 years as I gained experience and credentials before I ever decided to do anything about it. Check my LinkedIn profile for more details.
I am someone who loves to learn and always seeks knowledge. So even though I run a company I continue to educate myself and complete certifications or workshops in a variety of areas. It is called Continued Professional Development (CPD). I believe it is an important aspect of any career. I like to push my knowledge. I like to dive into things I don’t fully know about or understand and build stronger skill sets to be a more effective business owner.
I am motivated by
EVERYTHING! Haha! What gets me most excited in my work is watching the company grow. I love to see that we are gaining momentum and branching out into bigger marine-focused projects. It is watching my employees gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of business centred on the ocean.
The most interesting aspects of my career are definitely those times I am in the field or get to travel. For example, when I am on a boat in BC, NL, or NS teaching students how to use acoustic equipment or observe marine mammals and seabirds. It is when I get to travel to places like small Caribbean countries and work with small companies in those areas to increase their understanding of manmade noise underwater.
My career fits me because I chose it. I made it. When you have a background in Biology no one really tells you that you could possibly start a business. I knew that I wanted to create my own dream job, work for myself and build something unique. And while that comes with its own stresses the rewards are far greater.
How I affect peoples’ lives
Being the founder of a company means eventually you will have employees. This also means you are responsible for providing a meaningful, respectful and forward thinking work environment. The greatest aspect of what I do involves my employees and ensuring they have what they need to succeed. Without them the business cannot grow and thrive.
What ultimately makes my career fulfilling is the awareness it brings to our (human) marine acoustic footprint. Every activity we undertake in the marine environment has an effect. My primary interest is to determine the acoustic effect (i.e., the noise) and how this noise might affect the wildlife that inhabit that environment. It matters because having this understanding feeds back to making more effective decisions in industry and at the regulatory level.
Outside of work I
It is important to have a work-life balance. This includes a school-life balance. Those things you do outside of school or work that bring you joy and make you feel fulfilled. I love to be on or in the ocean. Shocker! I love SCUBA diving (been certified since I was 18). I love ocean swimming, photography and generally being outdoors. I love to read and enjoy travelling. Travelling fills my soul. I also volunteer and sit on a variety of boards and committees (both local and global). I like to be part of a larger community, meet new people and understand what challenges other groups might be facing and how they can be overcome.
My advice to others
Dive in. Just go for it. Be varied in what you do. I also recommend volunteering in whatever field you may be interested in to test out if you really like it. And find a mentor. If possible, someone who is doing what you might want to do one day. Ask them for 15 minutes of their time or a chance to have a quick chat. People love to share their experiences and you might be surprised what you learn and where it may guide you.