November 2018

Tiffany Wong is our November Ambassador of the Month! Tiffany is a Senior Environmental Specialist with the Government of Canada. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in Chemical and Bioengineering from McMaster University.

Why did you choose to study engineering?

Engineers know how to approach and solve the world’s most challenging problems. Engineers work to try and find the best possible solutions and systems.

How do you apply your degree to your career?

The role of an Engineer is so diversified. From optimizing processes, to planning, managing projects, troubleshooting, leading teams, technical sales, or design, the careers opportunities are vast. Take the time to explore. Figure out what you like (and what you don’t like). Get the facts and shadow jobs to get a sense of where the career path will take you. Seek out as well as seize opportunities when they present themselves. Finally, work hard, persevere through challenges, and have a positive attitude.

What advice do you have for someone hoping to pursue a career in engineering?

The role of an Engineer is so diversified. From optimizing processes, to planning, managing projects, troubleshooting, leading teams, technical sales, or design, the careers opportunities are vast. Take the time to explore. Figure out what you like (and what you don’t like). Get the facts and shadow jobs to get a sense of where the career path will take you. Seek out as well as seize opportunities when they present themselves. Finally, work hard, persevere through challenges, and have a positive attitude.

October 2018

Pam Lee-Shanok is an outreach program coordinator at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa.  Pam has a B.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa and a B.Ed. in Mathematics and Physics. Pam is the Youth Programs Manager at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering. Her job means she gets to inspire young students to pursue engineering all the time!

Why did you choose to study engineering?

I was always interested in medicine, but I hated memorization. After a year of studying pre-optometry I knew I wanted to change my degree. At the time, the University of Ottawa was offering an option in biodesign for its Mechanical Engineering program (now this has transformed into its own program of Biomedical Mechanical Engineering). I was very excited about the prospect of taking classes such as Artificial Organs and Prosthesis so I decided to study engineering.

How do you apply your degree to your career?

Although I don’t work as an engineer, I help develop programs to get kids and teens interested in engineering. I review engineering-related activities and problem solve a lot in my job.  Knowing the basics of coding has helped me as well.

What advice do you have for someone hoping to pursue a career in engineering?

I would tell him/her to work hard in school and to take the time to take part in activities such as Go ENG Girl or robotics competitions. The more exposure you have the engineering, the better you will be able to envision yourself in this field, or the more you’ll learn that engineering isn’t for you. Follow your passions. Try shadowing a few different types of engineers to see what you like (contact companies or universities for mentors). If you enjoy working with people, problem solving, and bettering the world then you should consider engineering.

September 2018

Mina Dezz, Civil Engineering EIT in Toronto, is our September Ambassador. Mina, the founder of IronRingGirls, supports women in the engineering and technology field from all over the world. Her Instragram Account, has over 20,000 followers and regularly highlights the accomplishments of engineering students and professionals globally.

Why did you choose engineering?

There wasn’t one single reason. It was a result of a long list of pros and cons. My grades were high, but I didn’t know what I wanted to study. I just knew I didn’t want to go into Law or Medicine. Since I was slightly interested in buildings and architecture, I thought I’d give Civil Engineering a try.

I didn’t know exactly what I could do with an engineering degree, I just knew there would be opportunities once I graduate.

It took a while for me to actually find what I enjoy doing in the field of engineering. After graduation, I started working in the urban transportation field as a design civil engineering intern. Basically designing LRT lines and public transport stations. Then I moved to construction.

Right now I’m building a 6,500 sqft house.

I’m happy I didn’t give up on engineering. It’s an empowering feeling to slowly build yourself a career.

How do you currently apply your engineering degree?

Since I work in construction now, I use the knowledge from my Structural and Construction Management courses the most. I do a learn a lot on the job, and sometimes someone mentions something and I say “Oh! I remember this from school!” It’s somewhere in the back of my brain. The main skill I use from university is problem solving. I don’t necessarily remember every
equation I learned in school, but I know how to find a way to solve a problem no matter how complicated it seems. Analytical thinking is something I was introduced to in university and I’ve strengthened it through my experiences on the job.

What advice do you have for someone hoping to pursue a career in engineering?

Work on building a powerful mindset. Engineering isn’t all numbers and physics. Thinking outside the box, being confident, and dealing with stress, are all examples of skills that can have a great impact in your career. Engineering is a world of opportunities that will build your character and your mindset as well. It’s one of those professions that really helps you grow as a person too. So be open to new experiences and be patient while you learn new skills, grow, and succeed in what you do.