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Sandra Ketchen, MEng '94

Civil Engineering | Civil Engineering Senior Vice-Present Operations at Saint Elizabeth

It runs in the family: I have an older brother who went through a Civil Engineering program nine years ahead of me. While he was at university, I was in public school and doing well in math and science classes. When I looked at the ability to combine those interests with application to the “real world,” I really never considered anything else.

Making an impact: I have been fortunate that my career has afforded me so many opportunities to make an impact. I’ve had the chance to buy and sell businesses around the world, to learn about new industries, to launch a global employee recognition program, to rebuild a healthcare manufacturing business, and to grow businesses in diverse industries, to name a few. Mostly though, I’ve loved being able to really impact the careers of colleagues and other professionals by giving them the opportunity to really stretch what they thought were their own boundaries.

Work-life balance is your choice: I think work-life balance is really nothing more than personal choice. What works for me may not work for others – and personal views of this balance may change as careers and families evolve over time. I’ve had an amazing support network that enables me to be a wife, a mom, a daughter, and an executive all at the same time.

Looking towards the future: The next ten years will be an exciting time in the world of healthcare and with any luck, I will be right in the thick of the challenge.

Advice to all women in engineering: As a woman in engineering, you can’t help but stand out – and don’t be afraid to use this to your advantage. People will remember you. Success is built on the back of hard work, taking risks when you see [the] opportunity, building a professional network beyond your company and industry, and believing that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Don’t be afraid to say yes to a challenge. Be courageous, creative, relentless, and persevere until you get there.