Name: Amanda LeDuc

Program: Management Engineering

University(s) / College(s) Attended: University of Waterloo

Education / Degree(s): Honours Bachelor of Applied Science in Management Engineering

Current Job Title: Strategy Insights & Planning Consultant

Current Employer: ZS Associates, Pharmaceutical Sales and Marketing Organization

Fun Facts About Me

If your best friend had to describe you in 10 words or less, what would they say?:
Always busy! The organizer of the group

Share one fun fact about yourself:
I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up... that's why I'm currently a management consultant!

What do you want to accomplish in the next 10 years?:
Still figuring that out. On the personal side, I hope to be married with kids within the next 10 years. On the professional side, I hope to keep working as a management consultant as long as I can. I’m learning so much, and developing a lot of great skills I don’t think I could develop as fast anywhere else.

The most inspiring engineer I know is ....... Because ........ ?:
Honestly, I don't really think about this..

Profile Questions

Why did you choose to study engineering?:
Honestly, I originally wanted a career as a health care practitioner of some type, but I just didn’t have the stomach for it. It was my parents that steered me toward engineering. I picked my specific discipline because it seemed more people oriented, and had a strong linkage to the healthcare system … and that proved to be more true than I imagined.

What are your best memories of your engineering education?:
My friends! Living in a house with friends who were also studying engineering (some of them in different disciplines than me). I don’t think I will ever live so well, on so little ever again.

How do you apply your engineering degree to your current career?:
I actually use a lot of the forecasting techniques that I learned as part of my course work. I keep a number of my textbooks at my desk at work, I find it handy to reference them on occasion.

What do you love most about your career?:
The people, the projects, and ability to live in different places. I have amazing colleagues, most of whom are also young and many are also engineers. I also really like the variety of projects I get to try, everything from market research to forecasting. I find my job constantly challenging, but in a good way, I am frequently pushed just a bit beyond my comfort zone (but support is always available), but that is the best way to learn. Lastly, I like the ability to be mobile in my career. I recently returned to Toronto following a 2 year transfer to our California offices, it was an amazing experience!

What was the most enjoyable project you've been involved with?:
I really like projects that mix analytics with real world human decision making. A lot of my work has been focused on conducting primary and secondary market research as way to gather data. We then use this data to inform a forecast or treatment journey. The process of taking a whole pile of information and distilling it down to something understandable and actionable keeps me on my toes!

What's next in your career?:
I’ll keep you posted when I decide!

What advice would you give to someone hoping to pursue a career in engineering?:
Do it! An engineering education is a valuable thing, and it opens up so many doors. I do not currently work in a traditional engineering role, but I got my current job because I have an engineering degree (employers are always looking for “smart” people, an engineering degree is proof you are smart). Also, the option to pursue a traditional engineering career still exists for me if I decide I want a career change in the future.