PCL Construction is 100% employee owned, which means its employees are invested in their clients' success and committed to delivering the best to their communities and each other. PCL continuously invests in training and resources that strengthen its employees’ skill sets and grow their careers.

In PCL’s Toronto location, the Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) Mentorship Program was created to provide employees who are engineering graduates with the opportunity to gain the experience required to qualify for their P.Eng. designation through Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO).

PCL sat down with the program directors and past and current participants to learn more about the advantages of the program and their journeys to becoming professional engineers.

In addition to receiving structure and support via the program, employees are introduced to a network of mentors. These mentors are senior PCL Toronto employees who have achieved their P.Eng. designations.

The mentoring relationships enable participants to verify their experience with PEO upon completion of the required four years of experience. The mentors also help uncover opportunities so candidates can gain this experience in a timely manner.

“The mentorship I have witnessed in the program allows participants to accurately capture the engineering principles we use at PCL to strengthen their reports that they submit to PEO,” says Andrew Scott, superintendent and director of the program who holds his P.Eng. designation.

“We are impacted by engineering at every stage of a project, and many of us use solid engineering principles to make decisions daily. Mentorship changes the way we approach these day-to-day tasks.” 

Participants are assigned to planning and problem-solving issues that arise on projects to gain experience and exposure. While participants take on the responsibility of their own learning and success, they are far from alone as they pursue their goals.

When David Symington, project manager, first graduated from his civil engineering program, he was interested in completing his P. Eng. designation but, like many others, didn’t know where to start. Then he found a network in the P.Eng. program he could connect with to ask questions.

“You have a network of other professional engineers and engineering interns you can turn to for their opinions on the problems you face day to day,” Symington says about his time in the program. “Having a platform where you can get together and collaborate is extremely beneficial.”

Recently, Symington successfully received his P.Eng. designation. Now he is a mentor within the program, striving to pass along his knowledge and experiences to others.

“The program helped me understand what it truly meant to have the designation, and now I am experiencing its value. Every engineering graduate should strive to achieve their P. Eng. designation,” he says.

Employees who pursue their P.Eng. are introduced to new ways to grow and strengthen their skills as part of their career development.

In alignment with PEO’s criteria, the program pushes participants to document and develop a diary of work experience while training their minds in critical thinking. This encourages them to question why and how certain things are done and to think in a way that leads to the acceleration of their skill development.

Nina Huang, project manager and current program participant, has had her sights set on obtaining her P.Eng. since she was in university. Now in the P.Eng. program, she is working toward her goal.

“The designation is an opportunity for continued learning and practice of engineering. This allows you to provide added value to both the workforce and your own career,” she explains.

The depth of understanding Huang has received thus far about engineering principles has broadened her scope of knowledge and complemented her project management skills, enabling her to communicate to others in a valuable way.

“When you have that technical background, you are able to speak to the subjects better,” she says. “If you have the experience, you can propose better solutions.”

The program focuses on nurturing value and honouring ambition in PCL employees. Participants get as much out of it as they put into it, and they receive support along the way. It is an extremely valuable opportunity for participants to take advantage of as they drive their own careers.

Mike Buckley, project director and registered professional engineer, has been involved in mentoring and training numerous young engineers as a director of the program.

“Obtaining your P.Eng. is about creating a more balanced and well-rounded individual, perhaps a little quicker in your career stream than you might not achieve otherwise,” Buckley says. “The opportunities are boundless for individuals who are smart, ambitious and willing to learn to take risks in their career and push themselves to new limits.”

PCL is committed to offering rewarding career paths and growth opportunities for its people. Come build with us: Careers (pcl.com).