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The True Cost of Going “Slow-To-Market”
It’s commonly understood that in the world of product design & development,...
The biggest challenges are often the non-technical ones. We have customers with incredibly tight deadlines and deciding what work is critical and what can be deferred is always difficult. Similarly, updating the customers expectations as to what is feasible in the time given involves a lot of tricky conversations and diplomacy. Engineering is as much soft skills as it is technical smarts.
Both of my parents are in the STEM field, so I was always exposed to it, and encouraged to explore it. I had a little rebellious streak in me, so for a long time I was determined NOT to go into STEM. It wasn’t until high school that I finally accepted that I really liked building things and solving problems, and that engineering was probably the right fit for me after all. By the time I’d finished my first year of university I was absolutely confident I’d made the right decision.
I got my degree at the University of Waterloo, studying Mechatronics Engineering.
I first came to Inertia as a co-op student. At that point I had a few other product design related co-ops under my belt so my experience probably helped me stand out. I’d also received outstanding reviews from my previous employers which always helps when looking for a new job. During my co-op term I was able to handle client relations as well as design and analysis which proved I could be an effective and well rounded team member so I was given a full time offer once I graduated.
I studied mechatronics engineering which is a combination of mechanical, electrical and software engineering. Throughout my degree, I realized I much preferred the mechanical side of things, so now I specialize in mechanical engineering, but I still have the background in electrical and software engineering that I can draw upon when the need arises.
Most engineering programs in Ontario will require Grade 12 English, Advanced Functions, Calculus, Physics and Chemistry. As an extra effort, I took AP Physics and Chemistry which made my first year of university a little easier as I’d already seen some of the material. As far as extra curriculars, I participated in less ‘technical’ clubs and teams. I was on the Student Council, and I ran the arts council, I played on the Slo-Pitch team, in the band and was in the debate club. Though these might not have helped me directly with my first year class work, they definitely taught me time management. They also probably helped me get into Waterloo as they typically look for well rounded students.
Don’t be intimidated. Don’t feel you have to be a ‘woman in engineering’. You can just be an engineer.
We hope you enjoyed Lisa’s insights on establishing herself as an engineer. We encourage all young women to explore STEM related fields. Promoting workplace diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us at Inertia. Recently we were recognized by the Great Place to WorkⓇ organization as one of Canada’s Best Workplaces™ for Inclusion in 2019.
Inertia is growing and we’re looking for great people to join our team. Check out our current job openings.
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