Manager, Engineering Services Contracts, CN
B.Eng. Mechanical Engineering 2007
Briefly describe your path to your current career.
After graduation, I was hired into a Management Leadership Program for an American forgings and castings manufacturer and worked in various positions of increasing responsibility at plants located within the United States and England. The role was a great opportunity to gain cross-functional experience in finance, sales, operations and engineering in an industry that was highly technical. At the end of the Leadership Program, I opted to move back to Montreal to pursue a career in Supply Management for CN, a Class I railroad, where I was responsible for the procurement of engineering materials required for track construction. Over the years, I continued to progress through roles of increasing responsibility and breadth, and am now a Manager for the procurement of engineering service contractors where my focus has been on leading a team to deploy a Vendor Management System that will revolutionize the processing of half a billion dollars worth of spend in order to streamline invoice processing and build business intelligence to engage in better, more effective partnerships with our suppliers.
Concurrently to my business career, I pursued a certification in personal and professional coaching because I saw that there was a need for more information and support for students and young professionals to help them find their career footing and manage their career progression as they pursued their professional goals.
Over the last 10 years, I have mentored and coached hundreds of students and young professionals on the classroom to boardroom transition, from resume reviews, interview prep and career selection coaching to helping them to accelerate their learning and success through workshops and speaking engagements. Moreover, the skills I have acquired throughout my coaching certification have been instrumental in leading individuals and teams to establishing strategic visions and achieving them.
How has your engineering education at McGill contributed to your success?
I have to credit my engineering education for giving me the stamina and perseverance to pursue difficult goals. Engineering was an extremely challenging discipline to study and I feel as though it not only gave me specific technical knowledge to pursue a wide breadth of careers, but it trained me to consistently put in the hard work to achieve success.
Moreover, I personally feel as though my mechanical engineering background gave me the knowledge and skills to undertake and succeed within a wide range of roles. While engineering is a highly technical discipline, the skills I learned to problem solve are the same skills required to approach problems in business.
What advice do you have for current students in the Faculty of Engineering?
My advice to current students in the Faculty of Engineering is to diversify and differentiate themselves in preparation for their career, whatever shape that may take for them. With an increasingly competitive economic landscape, it's important for engineering students to not only gain experience in their field of study, but to gain complementary skills that fall way outside of their selected discipline. More than ever before, organizations are hiring people with a very diversified skill set in order to foster the creativity necessary to succeed. Big data management and interpretation, sustainability and sociology are becoming of increasing interest to organizations as they seek to innovate and grow market share.