I remember the flurry of construction and renovation in my home as a child. It really caught my attention. As I grew up, I realized that I was fascinated by all things grandiose, such as the construction of bridges, highways and buildings that will be used by thousands of people. It really impressed me. That's why I chose to study civil engineering.
I first heard about PCL as a co-op student at the University of Ottawa. PCL had posted a junior field coordinator position for a project in Montreal. My first internship with PCL was focused on the Deloitte Tower, a project in Montreal undertaken by the Ottawa District. I decided to stay at PCL for my second internship in Ottawa as a junior estimator to gain more experience. I later wanted to travel and explore other regions of Canada, so I applied for an internship in British Columbia via PCL’s student mobility program. I spent twelve months in Vancouver as a junior field coordinator, when I was originally supposed to stay for four months. Once I had completed my work term in BC, I returned to Ottawa to finish my studies. In the meantime, PCL awarded me the National scholarship in 2016 and offered me a full-time job in Vancouver, which was a highlight of the beginning of my career.
I returned to Vancouver in 2017 with more experience under my belt as a field coordinator and was promoted to project coordinator. I had the opportunity to mentor one of our students, helped him learn about the industry, and was honored to see him win the same scholarship I was previously awarded. I am also very proud of the fact that I have developed a personal connection with my colleagues from across the country, whom I still speak with regularly. I learned early in my career that you must develop strong relationships with the people you work with if you want to have a pleasant working environment.
Everyone I had the chance to work with has the same passion for their job. This is a characteristic of PCL employees in all the districts I have worked in. Being able to travel across Canada and meet people from many different places has greatly contributed to my development in the company. All the supervisors who mentored me positively impacted my career and skills, which allowed me to become a good mentor myself.
Since fall 2021, I am continuing my PCL journey in Montreal. The PCL student program is great because it provides great insight on the company’s standards, procedures, and the responsibilities for the different job positions.
As I reflect on my student experience, my advice for our students is to be curious, ask questions, and be open to change. Prioritize human relationships because construction is all about building connections. Being in an industry that will experience constant changes takes very resilient people with a desire to improve and learn to be successful.
My transition from student to full-time employee was quite smooth as the more you are willing to learn, the more opportunities will be given to you, which prepared me for my early career with PCL. Being a more experienced employee now, I am happy to be mentoring our junior employees and share my knowledge about the industry.
PCL’s growth and success are near and dear to my heart, and I am very excited about PCL’s establishment in the Quebec market. From my experience in one of PCL’s first iconic projects in Montreal (the Deloitte Tower), and my experiences with the company in other regions, I strive to evolve within the company as an emerging professional in the emerging Quebec market. I am looking forward to helping our company to grow and I know PCL will help me grow in return.