I was born/grew up in: Burlington, ON
I now live in: Toronto, ON
I completed my training/education at: McMaster University and University of Toronto
Describe what you do at work.
Each day is completely different. One day I could be talking to a leading researcher in a university about their work and the next I could be meeting with policymakers in government trying to understand how to best support science. I don't work in a lab anymore, but I use my technical knowledge all the time, especially in communicating science clearly to people who aren't necessarily experts. Sometimes this means writing reports, sometimes making presentations, and others just talking over coffee. As someone who didn't know what they wanted to do (but knew I loved science), this is perfect for me. I love variety and getting to meet new people and hear cutting edge ideas.
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect people’s lives?
My job most directly affects the researchers, companies, and government people I work with daily. I help them do a better job so that they can provide more sustainable products like biodegradable plastics or ensure that Ontario is a world leader in science.
What motivates you in your career?
The big picture: I love science and think it can provide enormous benefit for society. Doing my part to make sure that people in Ontario benefit, whether it means better jobs or a cleaner environment, is what gets me out of bed in the morning (and my toddler). But my favourite part is getting to talk a whole bunch of scientists and companies who are doing amazing things. It helps me stay in tune with science without actually having to be the one doing experiments!
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
I studied chemistry at McMaster and then did my PhD at University of Toronto. I worked in industry for a few years doing experiments (including a few weeks in Fort McMurray in January!). I realized I have always loved science, but didn't want to be the one doing the work in the lab anymore. I then started working for Ontario Genomics 2 years ago. The one thing I have tried to do is stay flexible- you never know what opportunities will come up.
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
I like to bike and I also make my own beer. I used to play in a band, but don't have as much time to do that anymore. Most of my weekends are spent at the park with my son.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
Get out there and do it. If you work hard, people will help you achieve your goals.