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Meet Leona Smith, Project Co-ordinator, North America

Photo: COWI

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I feel so supported here.

​After graduating from university, I knew I wanted to work in project management and engineering. I was attending a career fair at the University of British Columbia and struck up a conversation with the gentleman next to me. I was telling him how I was really interested in project management and getting a job within the field and he told me that his company was actually looking to hire project managers. It turned out the man was Steve Hunt, who at that time was the president of COWI’s Canadian subsidiary, Buckland & Taylor. I emailed him my resume the next day and that is how I got an interview.

I really enjoy working at Buckland & Taylor because people are so passionate about their work. I couldn’t imagine going to work every day with people who do not care about their jobs; it would be very demoralising.

The other reason I like working here is that the company constantly strives to be better; both in terms of putting out better products and making the company a better place for its employees to work.

In the years that I’ve been here, Buckland & Taylor has introduced a lot of benefits. There’s a fitness budget, a professional development budget, a transportation budget and much more. Those are all really nice perks. For me though, the thing that motivates me most is that I really find the work challenging and interesting and at the same time I feel good about the fact that we are building bridges. It is something that helps people all around the world.

One of the things I really love about the company is that I feel so supported here. I have a mentor who I meet with two or three times a month to talk about how my projects are going, where I want my career to go, and if there are any relevant courses I could take, or articles that I could read. It is a good sounding board for how I can progress.

I feel really lucky to be part of a company that is growing within my area of work. I get to be part of that growth and to influence the way we are moving forward. I feel like I have a lot of people here rooting for me who want me to be successful.

I usually work on one major project at a time for approximately a year, which really allows me to focus on what I am doing. Every project teaches me something new, so by the time I am 90, I will know it all.

Facts

​Title

Project Co-ordinator

Joined COWI

2011

Educational background

Leona Smith graduated as a materials engineer from the University of Toronto in Canada. After a year in France teaching English, Leona came back and interviewed for an opening as project co-ordinator at COWI’s Canadian subsidiary, Buckland & Taylor, in Vancouver.

LAST UPDATED: 17.03.2017