Job title and employer:
Founder and Principal – Causeway Consulting Inc.
What does your job title mean?
I run my own business specializing in project management in engineering and residential/commercial construction
Where were you born?
I was born and grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Where do you live now?
I moved to Kamloops, BC over 12 years ago
Where did you complete your training or education?
I completed my Masters degree in Civil Engineering at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I also completed an Architectural Engineering Technician program at Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC
What you do at work?
I run my own business specializing in project management. We manage a variety of projects including engineering and residential/commercial projects. As a Project Manager, I am involved in all parts of the project. At the start of the start of the project I will work with the project sponsor make sure everyone understands what needs to be done and how long it will take. We identify the different activities and steps that will be taken. After this, we form a project team.
The project team members lay out their activities like pieces of the puzzle. Then we all work together to create an overall project management plan. This plan states the project scope, schedule, budget, resources and risks. The project plan also states how the different parts will be monitored and controlled during the project. My job is to monitor and control all parts of the project as stated in the project management plan. If any concerns come up, I share this with the project sponsor and work with the team to resolve any issues.
A project manager has to be a strong leader. Project managers also have to be very organized and be able to communicate effectively to the team. They must also be great problem solvers and decision makers.
How does what you do affect people’s lives?
I work on such a variety of projects, each one affecting different people differently. For the project sponsor, I make sure they get good value for the money they are spending. For the public, I make sure the projects we work on are done properly.
What motivates you in your career?
I have always loved problem solving and working through issues to find the solution. I also get a great amount of satisfaction in getting things built, projects completed and having happy clients. The variety of projects I get to work on is something that always interested me in my career and motivates me to seek out new work. I have been fortunate that my career has allowed be to move around the world working of a wide range of projects for a number of different clients.
How did you get to where you are today?
When I was in high school, I loved math and technology. In my technology program, I did a course on structural design, which lead me to take civil engineering in university. The chance to work outside on projects all over the world was something that really appealed to me. My family always encouraged me to follow my interests. The fact that engineering was typically a male dominated sector never occurred to me until I went to university and was one of seven women in a class of seventy. I have always felt very fortunate in my career to have the opportunities I have had. Nevertheless, I would love to go back and tell my younger self to speak up more, take risks and have more confidence in my abilities and myself.
I worked for a number of years as a roadway design and municipal engineer. As I gained more experience, I became a project manager. I believe this experience provided me with a great foundation of technical knowledge to understand the issues that could come up in the projects I manage today.
I built on my project management in civil engineering projects by becoming certified as an Architectural Engineering Technician. This gave me the ability to work on projects that include the construction of residential and commercial buildings. After I had this certification and experience, I took the chance and started Causeway Consulting Inc. This has allowed me to follow my passion of getting things built and creating from just an idea. Check my LinkedIn profile for more details.
What activities do you enjoy outside of work?
I love skiing! This was one of the reasons I moved to Canada. My move to Canada landed me in the interior of British Columbia, which has been wonderful as it allows me to enjoy the lakes in the summer and the mountains in the winter.
What advice would you give to a young person interested in a similar career?
My advice would be to keep learning and seek out opportunities that interest you. You never know where your career will take you. Don’t let any internal fears hold you back. If you speak up and go after what you want, you will be surprised at the doors that open up.
As a female professional, how can you influence the advancement of women in engineering and technology?
I would love to become a mentor to someone starting on their career. I think finding a mentor is really important for everyone at all stages of their career to get support, chat through concerns and seek advise and guidance when needed.
When I was in high school, I enjoyed…
Business & Economics
When I was in high school, I was someone who…
Always wanted to be outside
Enjoyed working with my hands
Was motivated by success
Wanted to be in charge
Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
Was really creative
Liked to design or build things
ASTTBC thanks Let’s Talk Science for their partnership in developing this career profile. Let’s Talk Science – a leading partner in Canadian education – is a national charitable organization committed to inspiring and empowering Canadian youth to develop the skills they need to participate and thrive in an ever-changing world. To accomplish this, Let’s Talk Science offers a comprehensive suite of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) based programs to support youth, educators, and volunteers across Canada. For more information about Let’s Talk Science, visit letstalkscience.ca.