As a kid, I always wanted to be a marine biologist. I was and still am fascinated by everything in the underwater world. As I got older, however, I realized that it would be too difficult for me, seeing as I hated biology! I've loved math and physics for as long as I can remember, so engineering just became the logical choice.
Why did you choose Concordia?
I was attracted to the actuarial math program, but at the last second decided to reject it because I didn't want to only do math for the rest of my life. I like the fact that Concordia has a wide variety of programs, instead of the "classic" degrees. For example, actuarial math and industrial engineering are both two fairly new domains. I believe that they are going to be very important in the years to come. It's great that Concordia is always growing and adapting programs to prepare us for work in any industry.
When you first enrolled at Concordia, did you plan to become part of CIADI?
When I first started at Concordia, I had no idea what the Concordia Institute of Aerospace Design and Innovation was! It was only after my second year that I heard about it and realized that it would be something that I'd like to do. The CIADI Global Initiative, which allows selected students to travel abroad and visit aerospace leaders in various countries, is what really drew me.
Do you feel CIADI has given you a competitive edge when it comes to the job market?
Definitely. The aerospace industry is extremely important in Montreal and very well known worldwide. Many students finish their undergraduate degree with little to no work experience and I feel that CIADI really helps students gain industry experience through simple means.
Have you been able to apply concepts you've learned in the classroom to the work you're doing on the job for CIADI?
Yes, and it even surprised my supervisor! Last year, at Pratt & Whitney Canada, I was working on a continuous improvement project and applied many ideas from Lean, Six Sigma quality control. It's always a great feeling when you can apply what you've learned in class to an internship.
What was the process like when it came to finding a CIADI internship?
Finding a CIADI internship is very easy. There is a list of projects per company that is put up on the website and all you have to do is read the description and pick which one is right for you! Soon after making your choices, you are contacted for an interview and shortly after -- if everything goes well -- you receive the job offer. It's a simple, streamlined process that helps students get a taste of "job hunting" but without having to deal with HR and cover letters.
Is this your first internship? If not, where have you worked previously?
Before I came to Concordia, I worked in IT support for Bombardier Aerospace through CGI for two years. In the summer of 2010, during my first internship through CIADI, I worked for Pratt & Whitney Canada in the transportation logistics department, as well as the distribution centre. For the summer of 2011, I was lucky enough to be selected for CIADI Global. Therefore, I went to Seville in Spain and spent four months with Airbus Military working in the product lifecycle management department.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I'm still undecided. I graduate this year so I've started reading up on master's programs and graduate job opportunities. I am going to start studying for the GMAT this fall and will most likely apply to do a master's in Operations Research at the University of British Columbia. In a few years, I'd also like to pursue an MBA, but for now I'm unsure where.
For work, I'd like to go into management consulting and work long hours for one of the big multinational consulting firms. Otherwise, I'd like to focus on transportation logistics with a global distribution company or on supply chain optimization with pretty much any company.