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Hersha Leung, BEng '03

Electrical Engineering | When the career chooses you

A “young, naive ambition” to build robots to save the world led Hersha Leung to specialize in Electrical Engineering.

But looking back now – from her position as Senior Director of Data Centre Infrastructure & Strategy (DCIS) Operations for RBC – she says she ended up in a career that chose her.

After graduating in 2003, she launched her career working in engineering consulting with a Toronto firm doing electrical engineering for hospitals and data centres. That job gave her the opportunity to be part of the design and build of RBC’s Data Centres – “a priceless education and character-building experience.”

“Then in 2013, an opportunity to work for our client – RBC – presented itself,” says Leung. “I went from leading an engineering design team to leading a global team managing RBC’s critical environment properties.”

 Her position involves overseeing RBC’s data centres and other critical properties, along with managing the budget and financials for DCIS.

“Our team provides our internal stakeholders with strategic and day-to-day oversight for financial and business management while delivering safe and sound engineering services across our global portfolio via robust standards and proactive planning,” says Leung.

That team was recognized earlier this year with a 2019 Canadian Data Centre Excellence award in the category of Data Centre Management and Operations.

Leung says credit for the award goes to the great people who make up the team. “They are our real strength, and it’s a pleasure to learn and grow with them each day.”

Her advice to today’s students is to stick with challenges and learn new skills.

“In my view, tenacity is one of the keys to success,” she says. “I think learning new skills and taking the time to grow your tool-belt out of school and into the workforce, will ultimately serve you well.  As you grow and master your skills, your worth becomes recognized; in my experience, good work and willingness to persevere leads to greater opportunity.”