Q&A with Katie, Project Manager of Non-Operated Equipment, Irving Equipment
Meet Katie, the Project Manager of Non-Operated Equipment Rentals for Irving Equipment in Saint John, New Brunswick. She joined the JDI team in 2019 and was promoted to her new role in early 2022. She's the go-to person for customers in need of lifts, compressors, generators, light towers, and more.
Q: How did you find your way to JDI? Tell us a bit about where you grew up, went to school, and your professional background.
A: I grew up in a small town outside of Fredericton and moved to Saint John in 2016, after receiving my Civil Engineering Technology diploma from NBCC. I worked as a Mechanical Technologist for an engineering firm for three years and acquired my PTech designation through NBSCETT (New Brunswick Society of Certified Engineering Technicians & Technologists). When an opportunity to join the Irving Equipment team as an estimator arose, I was excited to take a step into a different field and try something new.
Q: What do you find exciting about your new position?
A: I have really enjoyed the hustle and bustle of my new position. Every day is different and it certainly keeps me on my toes. The fast-paced environment keeps things interesting. It's a bit like a logistical puzzle: balancing rentals, maintenance, and trying to find a way to best help the customer meet their needs. It's also given me insights into how a company is run and has allowed me to develop my managerial skills.
Q: Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)? Was there a "eureka" moment where you knew it was the field for you?
A: Growing up, I was always very interested in the trades and construction industries. I knew that’s where I wanted to head in my career. I enjoyed the design aspect of being a technologist but it wasn’t until my time with IEQ that I discovered that my place was with equipment. I find every aspect of this industry interesting.
Q: Tell me a bit about being a young, up-and-coming woman in STEM, particularly where it tends to be a male-dominated field. What has that experience been like for you?
A: Being a young woman in a STEM field comes with challenges of course, but I am very lucky to be surrounded by people who have helped me grow and become successful within my role. I appreciate that I am treated as part of the team — not as a novelty on a job site.
Q: What's next for Katie? What are you looking forward to accomplishing in your new role?
A: I am very excited to continue to grow within my new role. Big things are happening for the non-ops department this year. We will continue to expand our fleet and hope to continue building relationships among our affiliates.
Q: Do you have any pieces of advice for people looking to pursue a career in your field?
A: My best advice would be don’t be scared to try something new. Find something you are interested in and build your knowledge and experience towards it.
Are you interested in pursuing a career in the J.D. Irving, Limited Construction & Equipment Division? You can learn more about the businesses and career opportunities in our division online: https://www.jdirving.com/en/our-business-division/construction-and-equipment/