- Role Model -
Name: Trina White
Occupation: Director, Engineering
Employer: Newfoundland Power
Education: Bachelor of Engineering - Civil, Memorial University ; Advanced Leadership Program, Gardiner Center
Hometown: St. Teresa’s, NL
Current community of residency: St. John's, NL
What does your typical work day involve?
My responsibility as a Director of Engineering is to ensure the successful delivery of various types of projects such as rebuilding substations, transmission lines and hydro plants. Having regular meetings with my team to discuss project progress and to ensure things are on track is an important part of that. Another important part is ensuring my team that I manage is happy and they have everything they need to do their job successfully. The majority of my time is spent in the office but when construction season begins I am out in the field doing site inspections and meeting with members of my team who are supervising these projects.
What do you love most about your profession? Why did you choose this career?
I love my profession for so many reasons. It is challenging, fun, creative, rewarding! But most of all of love the people. Working with a highly skilled team to successfully deliver a variety of different projects from the initial planning, on to the detailed design and construction is the most rewarding experience. I chose to be an engineer because the opportunities are endless.
When did you realize you wanted to work in STEM?
I always loved math and the sciences. But I never knew growing up that engineering was even an option until I had a conversation with my math teacher in Grade 12. Following that conversation, I met with my guidance counsellor to discuss potential career paths. I did a couple of career aptitude tests and engineering was in the top three. I decided at that point in time that was what I was going to do, still not really knowing what engineering was all about. But luckily for me it was the right decision. I found a profession that I am truly passionate about.
What were your favorite subjects in school?
Math, physics and chemistry were my favorite. I always loved the challenge of trying to figure out how to solve complex problems and I equally loved how excited I was when I did figure it out.
What advice would you give girls, who are still in school, who might be considering a career like yours?
My advice to anyone considering a career in the STEM field is to figure out what YOU want and go for it! Seek out opportunities to learn about what a career in STEM is all about. Whether it is job shadowing, summer camps, mentoring programs, school activities, research etc. This will give you a better understanding of the industry and if it is something you might be interested in.
Why do we need more women in skilled trades and STEM?
We need more women in STEM and skilled trades because they give us a different perspective. They can help us see why an equal combination of women and men can lead to a workplace that is more creative and innovative which may lead to better results, but more importantly more fulfilled and satisfied employees and societies.
Who was your role model? What about this person inspires you?
I have been fortunate to have many role models in my life both personally and professionally. But to me, the most important role models in my life are my parents. They encouraged me to reach for the stars. They told me quiet often as a child that I could be whatever I wanted to be. They taught me that it was important to treat everyone the way you would want to be treated and that to succeed in life I needed to work hard. But most importantly they taught me that “Success is Failure Turned Inside Out” and that you learn from your mistakes and keep on trying, don’t ever quit!
What do you do for fun? What are some of your hobbies/activities?
I love spending time with my three kids and my husband. We love to spend time as a family watching movies, going on adventures, and just enjoying each other’s company. I also love running and reading.
What superhero do you relate to most? Why?
I would have to say Helen from Incredibles. She is a mother, a wife, a leader and loves a good challenge.
Anything else you wish to share?
Be curious, try new things, challenge the status quo and don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. And if a career in STEM is what you are interested in, go for it and don’t look back!
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