I was born/grew up in: Huron County, Ontario
I now live in: London, Ontario
I completed my training/education at: Biological and Food Engineering (BSc.Eng), University of Guelph
What I do at work
I work remotely from my home office. My team is spread across Canada from the Atlantic Provinces, to the West Coast. We meet regularly via video meeting. Managing a large project requires routine monitoring and problem solving. When I'm faced with making decisions, I rely on my project management tools - many of which I learned on-the-job as a engineer in manufacturing.
My background in engineering gave me a passion for solving problems. It also gave me the process to find the right solution! I depend on my team's ideas during brainstorming, and like to visualize options. On a daily basis, I am either analysing budget spending, developing team strategies or having great discussions with inspiring women who work in science, engineering, trades or technology!
My career path is
When I was in high school I loved and excelled at both math and music. I enjoyed the challenge that my math and physics courses gave me. However, I knew that I wasn’t interested in theory such as pure mathematics or theoretical physics. I always found math and science more interesting if it was being applied to “real life”.
At the time, I didn’t even know that engineering was a field that would be of interest to me. One day as I was enjoying some sour cream on a baked potato I found out that, my mother had served me FAT FREE sour cream. “How could this be?” I asked. “How do they make fat free sour cream that tastes just the same as full fat?” This was the start of my interest in food science.
I made the hard decision to leave my study of music behind and follow an education in Food Engineering. At the time, I didn’t really know where my career might go. After I graduated with my engineering degree, I worked in the food manufacturing industry. In one case, one of my jobs was to taste ice cream! In addition, I worked with great people and got to solve challenging problems.
My decision to leave manufacturing was a difficult one. I was very comfortable in my abilities and enjoyed my workplace. My current position is Project Manager of a large national project. As most of my STEM skills are transferrable, I'm still using them! Managing a national project has lot of “moving pieces”. I still have opportunity to problem solve, make decisions, and make sure our project is secure. Check my LinkedIn profile for additional information.
I am motivated by
I am proud that my work makes a difference at a community level and is a part of something greater. It feels like such a great fit - that my early love of math and science helped me find my passion for problem solving. From there, my work as an engineer gave me the skills and tools to manage projects. As a project manager, I know I can apply my skills to any problem that I'm passionate about!
How I affect people’s lives
My work with Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology is fulfilling because I have the opportunity to meet all types of people who are doing great work to support the advancement of women in SETT (science, engineering, trades and technology). I hope that my own work will be regarded as making a difference to women in the workplace.
Outside of work I
Happily, I have kept music in my life. I still play trumpet, flugelhorn, and alto horn with a brass ensemble. When I find the time, I steal quiet moments to read. I also volunteer with Canadian Girls in Science (CAGIS), FIRST Robotics and Let's Talk Science.
My advice to others
It's ok to not know exactly what type of career you want. Focus on gaining the skills you need for a job you will enjoy doing.