Area Manager, Electronics and Informatic Systems, Canadian Coast Guard
I was born/grew up in: Placentia, NL, Canada
I now live in: St. John's, NL, Canada
I completed my training/education at: Marine Institute of Newfoundland and Labrador
Describe what you do at work.
One of my main roles is to make sure that the materials, people and tools necessary to keep our programs and services running are available. I make a lot of decisions each day. I also keep track of finances and provide reports on the status of projects and programs to my superiors. I use science and technology skills related to electronics and computer systems. I use my knowledge of geometry and algebra knowledge to make sure electronic specifications are followed. This is especially important where there are legal standards in place.
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect people’s lives?
I help make sure that the systems and actions that help keep people safe at sea are in place and ready to go. Without the programs provided by the Canadian Coast Guard, people would not be able to operate safely on oceans and inland waters. I help make sure we are ready to help when people get into trouble.
What motivates you in your career?
I feel a lot of pride when I see a Coast Guard ship leave port and sail into open waters. Even though I’m no longer onboard the ships I feel that I am still part of the crew because I’m part of a larger system that helps keep people safe on the ocean. I enjoy the fact that every day has its own challenges and requires me to prioritize and often make quick decisions. Because each vessel is different they have different needs and issues. This helps keep us all sharp and on our toes!
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
I attended the Marine Institute in St. John's, NL. Here I completed an electronics technician program. After I joined the Canadian Coast Guard, I entered a three year development program. This program takes you to an independent working level. I had always been interested in electronics and this provided me with lots of opportunity learn more. During my years with the CCG, I have worked at different jobs in locations from the high Arctic to the Caribbean. In the early years of my career sometimes I had to be away from family for extended periods of time. This was difficult at first but in later years technology helped lessen the impact because I had more constant communication with home.
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work I enjoy the outdoors. Physical activities include hiking, snowshoeing, using ATVs or snowmobiles. In the past I have done much volunteer work at my daughter's school.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
Make sure you do some research before you choose a post secondary program. What you choose will determine your lifestyle and goals for many years to come. If you want a career that can offer multiple directions down the road, make sure you have a broad background in your education.