I am originally from Corner Brook, but now reside in Kippens (near Stephenville). I work as a Project Engineer with AGRA Earth and Environmental, an environmental consulting firm whose Newfoundland operations are based in St. John's.
I became involved in engineering because I wanted a career which would involve practical applications of science and math, subjects which I enjoyed. I enrolled in Civil Engineering at Memorial University of Newfoundland, a co-operative education program, and graduated in 1996.
However, I did not make the decision to pursue engineering right after high school. I spent three years in university before I applied to the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. When I started the program in September 1991, I was already married and had an 18 month old son, Matthew. When I finished the program, Matthew was 6 years old and our new daughter Emily was 4 months old. Needless to say, these were busy and challenging days (and nights).
In 1997 our family moved back to the West Coast of Newfoundland. I was not successful in obtaining engineering work right away. I spent one year working as a youth business development officer for the local Community Business Development Corporation. Then in November 1998, I began working for AGRA Earth and Environmental. At the time, the company was doing environmental assessment and pipeline decommissioning work in the area near the community where I live. So I was able to provide local field supervision and assistance with these projects. Field activities often include inspecting the work of contractors and water & soil sampling. Most of my work is on the West Coast, but I also spend some time in the St. John's office and on projects throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. I really love the work that I do - every project is different and challenging.
Overall, my experience has been a positive one. I would highly recommend training programs with work term components, as these allow you to gain valuable experience and exposure to the real-life work environment. People can give you all kinds of advice, but in the end only you can decide what you want to do and how you want to do it. Looking back now, I am happy with the choices that I have made. Engineering is an exciting profession, and I am proud to be a part of it.
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