Name: Kourtney Duff
Employer: Newfoundland Power
Education: Technician Diploma in Remotely Operated Vehicles from Marine Institute / - Bachelor Degree in Engineering (Electrical) from Memorial University
What does your typical workday involve?
As an Engineer in the System Planning Department, my typical work day involves working with employees from different departments to gather or provide information for capital projects and planning studies. My work is mainly in the office; however, when we are working through studies there are often opportunities to visit site locations.
What do you most love about your profession? Why did you choose this career?
Engineering is so diverse in the work and opportunities available. Engineering is collaborative, innovative, and challenging. As a profession, there are endless opportunities available for someone with a background in engineering.
I chose this career because it allows me to work in a diverse team environment that challenges me every day.
When did you realize you wanted to work in STEM?
I didn’t realize I wanted to study/work in STEM until I was in high school. After graduation I pursued a technician diploma from the Marine Institute. At the end of the program, I wanted another challenge and realized the skills I learned through this program and many of my career aspirations aligned with engineering.
What were your favorite subjects in school?
My favourite subjects in school were math and sciences. I enjoy the art of problem solving that comes from math, and the application of theory in chemistry and physics. I’ve found that engineering is a combination of both
What advice would you give girls, who are still in school, who might be considering a career like yours?
Focus your course selection on math and science, as it will provide you with a solid understanding of fundamentals required in engineering. Seek out opportunities to get involved in STEM activities, such as workshops, afterschool clubs, and summer programs.
Why do we need more women in skilled trades and STEM?
Women bring a perspective and a set of skills that male-dominated industries lack. More women in STEM and skilled trades can provide new perspectives, and improve innovation in a business and industry.
Who was your role model? What about this person inspires you?
My role model is my dad. He’s an entrepreneur, and has been my entire life. He has shown me that hard work and determination lead to success, and if you want certain things in life, you need to make them happen for yourself. My parents have always been my biggest supporters.
What do you do for fun? What are some of your hobbies/activities?
In my free time, my fiancé and I enjoy spending weekends at our family cabin, kayaking in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter. We are very active, and enjoy hanging out with our toy poodle, Macie.
What superhero do you relate to most? Why?
I relate most to Helen Parr from The Incredibles. She works as part of a team to achieve common goals, she is a leader, and an excellent tactician.
Anything else you wish to share?
You are equally deserving of any and all opportunities that are available, and never let someone tell you that you are successful “because you’re a girl”.
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