As a little girl, I was really attracted to breaking things
apart and figuring out how they worked. For me, construction represented
creating environments that fit the needs of the inhabitants. I knew when I was
young I wanted to stand out and not just improve communities, but influence how
we build and create them.
I’ve been waiting forever to wear a white hard hat that
Growing up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, life was very
restrictive. The disconnect between my urge to figure out how things were made
and the career choices available to me left me confused and unfulfilled. As I
grew older, I thought I would grow out of that curiosity of learning how things
were made, but I didn’t. Then I moved to Ontario, and things changed.
When I graduated from the architecture
program at Algonquin College, PCL was
working on the Rideau
Centre. This mall is very close to my childhood home in inner-city Ottawa,
and the mall rooftop had some amazing views, so my friends and I hung out there
often. It’s also where I met for the first time someone who worked for PCL.
Sadly, I didn’t get his name, but he left me with a clearer purpose.
He saw how interested I was in the renovations and let us
know what was planned for the space. His excitement and enthusiasm towards the
project left me in awe and his willingness to teach me about the project is
something I will cherish forever.
After that, I found myself gazing at huge construction
projects like the West
Block Parliament Rehabilitation and the National Arts Centre rejuvenation; both just so happened to be PCL
projects. Whether it was a simple question about the project or its status, I
always found that PCL employees were happy to give me an answer or show me a
drawing. This filled me with ambition and fueled my passion for construction.
Before I started my undergraduate program, I visited Djibouti,
in East Africa, where my family is originally from. There, I saw a lot of
historical buildings in ruins. I saw unpaved roads leading up to mansions that
sat beside tin shacks, but I also saw a lot of potential. This motivated me to
always remember my roots and fueled my decision to pursue the study of architecture.
I moved to Alberta and got a job as a pipeline designer at
the Kearl Oil Sands project. I was living in camp when I decided to go back to
school and take construction management at NAIT. It was hard for me to adjust at
first. But through this program I met a lot of PCL employees.
were all so nice and professional. I remember I really wanted to be one of them.
The hard hats, the green and yellow; it was everything to me! In an environment typically seen from the outside as rugged
and uncompromising, they formed a tight-knit community characterized by
comradery and kindness.
This term, I can finally say that I’m a real PCL student. I
couldn’t have envisioned a better start to my career than interning at PCL. My
manager is amazing and I get to work with the latest technology all day. Right
now, I’m learning Synchro and assessing different construction management
software to help create workflows. I just had the chance to see an
unmanned aerial device for the first time, and I’m so excited to see how it
works and what we can do with it.
Since day one, everyone has been so kind, helpful, and welcoming.
I finally feel like I’m being heard and that my input matters. Every day now, I
look forward to learning and creating new visions and goals here at PCL.
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