Well, it’s been almost two solid years since I was a student. Finished my MREM in December 2012, convocated in May of ’13. Professionally, I’m very pleased with the direction things have taken since I finished my Masters of Resource and Environmental Management.
Last time you and I chatted I had begun working with Halifax-based Minas Energy. Minas is a Renewable Energy project developer. I was frankly shocked that I was asked to work at Minas, as I had a pretty two-dimensional view of what “work” was going to be like. The MREM doesn’t build specialists, it builds generalists. Jack-of-all-trades (or perhaps Jill-of-all-trades), but masters of nothing. Except masters of resource and environmental management, of course. I fell into a bit of a mental trap, believing that the one subject I had spent the most time on was where I was destined to work – in my case, forest management. Not so.
School taught me a lot more than I realized. Sure, I couldn’t tell you the difference between a megawatt and a gigawatt, but at least I could look you in the eye and tell you why maybe not knowing that wasn’t the end of the world. They can teach you what a megawatt is – it’s much harder to teach someone how to be a good communicator. Hence why I spent 16 months in a masters program.
I do a ton of different things now. We are one of the 5 developers at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE), so I’ve learned a lot about Tidal Power. We develop wind projects, and I’m the community relations manager for the Ellershouse Wind Farm. While I’ve been learning about Wind Energy, I’ve also learned more than I ever expected about the Hamlet of Ellershouse, and the people who live there. That has been incredibly rewarding.
I write a lot of proposals. I’ve transitioned into a position that has a heavy focus on business development – something I never dreamed I’d enjoy. Now I’m preparing for conferences international travel, and preparing with gusto to give elevator pitches, honing our value proposition, and brushing up on my French and Spanish. If you take one lesson from this post let it be this: speaking another language at a functional level is like having a superpower in the business world.