Posted: March 8, 2021
How many years of experience do you have?
I have 16 years of combined experience working as an engineer and entrepreneur.
What did your career progression leading up to today look like?
My career began as a mechanical engineer focusing on the biomedical industry. I was very excited about this industry, and one of my responsibilities was to run a biofeedback system during surgeries. I passed out every time. This experience and some other unfortunate personal discoveries made me realize that this was not a brilliant fit for me. I decided to pursue a role with ATCO Gas or Shell because they provided me significant scholarships while I was a student. I worked with ATCO Gas for 8 years in a variety of roles. My favourite role was as an Operations Engineer with a primary focus on emergency response and field support. Making decisions in high-pressure situations with interdisciplinary teams was an excellent fit for me.
I moved to Whitehorse, YT, in 2014 and transitioned from engineer to entrepreneur & Mom. During this phase of my career, I started a few different businesses and obtained my master’s degree in Management, Innovation & Entrepreneurship from Queen’s University. I’ve held my favourite roles as a leader managing a stand-up paddleboard and wine-tasting retreat for women on a yacht in Alaska. Recently, I have joined Williams Engineering in business development. It is an exciting match for me to be working in the arena with professional engineers again, but this time to develop the business around a great engineering team.
Describe the 3 characteristics about yourself that you believe led you to your success in business.
I believe three characteristics have influenced my success: I am good at creating fun; I am calm & can think clearly when situations become difficult or don’t go accordingly to plan; I am genuinely interested in the people I met and can remember what and why certain subjects are important to them.
How does your work positively impact women in Whitehorse and/or women of the world?
I am a relentless advocate for women to live their best lives. Through my work, I interact with many people and many women every day. I truly think the greatest impact I have is through one-on-one interactions. I engage with people wholeheartedly, believing their contribution is valuable while supporting them to believe that they can accomplish anything they want in life. Someone recently said to me, “Sometimes all a person needs is someone else to believe in them; you do that, Michelle.” This is something I am proud to contribute that positively impacts every woman I meet.