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From Pre-University to Professional
I have always been curious; I love to tackle challenges and find solutions. I enrolled in the pure and applied science pre-university program in Cegep, but it just didn’t work for me. A counsellor referred me to the civil engineering technology program, which was more in line with my profile, and told me about the possibility of continuing at ÉTS, in construction engineering. Once I started this technology program, I began to really enjoy my classes and the good grades followed. At the end of my college diploma, I made the leap to ÉTS to further my studies.
My Experience at ÉTS
I do not regret my choice to study at ÉTS because, in addition to earning a degree that offers excellent employment opportunities, the school allows me to participate in other projects, student groups like TribuTerre, Concrete Canoe, GéniALE and Phoenix, our dragon boat club. Thanks to business internships, I also feel better prepared for my transition to the job market. Also, I had the opportunity to participate in a student-exchange semester in Romania.
When I arrived at ÉTS, I wanted to experience studying abroad. Since I like to challenge myself and excel, I took a chance by studying in English. I chose Romania as a destination, because I knew very little about the country. It was an awesome experience! I learned to adapt to another culture and I gained respect for the different choices and habits of the Romanian people. I mingled with the people and made many friends from different countries.
My semester in Romania took me out of my comfort zone, sometimes, to the point of wanting to go home. However, I kept my cool and found solutions to the problems that came up—not unlike the actual work of an engineer. I had the opportunity to visit 15 European countries and to develop my resourcefulness to a level I would never have hoped to achieve before this trip. Many thanks to ÉTS for allowing me the opportunity of going abroad: I feel extremely fulfilled from both a personal and professional point of view.
Women’s Contribution to Engineering
During my exchange experience in Europe, I noticed that there were many more women in engineering than at ÉTS. Indeed, both in my classes and at my dorm, filled with future engineers, the proportion of women reached almost 50%. The number of female students in engineering over there really impressed me. Why is it different here?
I do not see my future profession as a male-dominated environment. I believe that every person who is attracted to engineering has a place in this profession, even if for the moment, the sector is considered as typically male oriented. Honestly, when I work with colleagues, I do not see us as men and women working together, but as a team of experts working to find solutions. For me, gender makes no difference in a profession; it’s the skill that matters.
Everyone has a place in engineering. Just do it and believe in it.
Roxane Parent-Thibeault is a bachelor’s student in the Department of Construction Engineering. She has been involved in a number of student clubs like the ÉTS Concrete Canoe, TribuTerre, GéniALE and Pheonix, the school’s dragon boat club.
Program : Construction Engineering