- Role Model -
Name: Jessica McGrath
Occupation: Maintenance Engineer
Employer: NL Hydro
Education: Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), Memorial University
Hometown: Admiral's Beach, NL
Current community of residency: Paradise, NL
What does your typical work day involve?
My typical workday involves a combination of office and plant work. I don't travel for except for training. Most of my work is with a team of people including Engineers, Tradespeople, Safety, etc.
What do you love most about your profession? Why did you choose this career?
I absolutely love my job! Everyday is different. Often we have to respond to equipment failures and ensure it is up and running in a timely manner to ensure a few power outages as possible to our customers. My job is exciting, challenging and rewarding.
When did you realize you wanted to work in STEM?
I realized I wanted to be an Engineer in the 9th grade. I was starting to look at course options for Grades 10-12 and thoroughly enjoyed the sciences. Once I started doing course on specific sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, etc), I knew Engineering was the right path for me.
What were your favorite subjects in school?
Physics, Math, and Gym!
What advice would you give girls, who are still in school, who might be considering a career like yours?
I would encourage all girls to pursue what they are passionate about. It's ok to not be 100% sure at this point. I would focus on the areas that interests me and let my interests lead my path. Never let anyone tell you that you can't do something simply because it's not a traditional role for women. You can do whatever you want - with some hard work of course!
Why do we need more women in skilled trades and STEM?
Diversity is very important in the workforce. When you have a range of both men and women in a work place, it creates a work environment that is productive, respectful and effective. Women play a huge role in STEM and skilled trades work environments. They bring a new prospective to the table and help shift the visions of workplaces. Without women, things would stay the same.
Who was your role model? What about this person inspires you?
My role model is a female engineer I have worked with a for several years. She inspires me to approach all things with confidence and persistence. To never give up and understand that I am a #STRONG (game code) member of what ever team I am on.
What do you do for fun? What are some of your hobbies/activities?
I spend majority of my time at my cabin with my family. We love to hike, ride our quads, swim and have camp fires.
What superhero do you relate to most? Why?
I was never really into superheroes but I had to choose one it would be Rogue from x-man. I loved her as a kid. Her ability to take others powers was awesome. You can use that same premise in life - always be willing to learn from others.
Anything else you wish to share?
Careers in STEM and the skilled trades are great career paths to follow. They are exciting and always changing. Always follow what you want, and not what others want you to be.
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