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Shannon Pole - BEng Sty '11, M.E.P.P. '13

Materials Engineering & Society | Solving People Challenges

For the first five years after she graduated, Shannon Pole worked for the International Zinc Association as a market development consultant.

The 2011 Materials Engineering & Society graduate who went on to earn a Master of Engineering and Public Policy (MEPP) says initially the job was a perfect fit.

“It used my technical material science knowledge and involved policy elements of my master’s degree because we were interacting with governments and consulting companies, and even the public, around policy change for construction materials.”

“It was the perfect blend of my academics.”

But eventually the need to travel extensively to trade shows became tiring, and Pole says a moment of reflection helped her see that her real calling and interest is in helping people.

The change of perspective has led her to launch her own company, with the aim of helping women in industry “pursue their career goals by mapping pathways from chaotic inner bondage to trailblazing with clarity.”

Along with personal coaching including hypnotherapy, Pole offers herself as a conference speaker on issues related to women in STEM careers.

During her university days, she was active in running the McMaster Women in Engineering Society, and following graduation, she founded the Toronto chapter of the Society of Women in Engineering. She has also been involved with the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers.

She says her engineering background and work make her uniquely qualified to “translate personal and professional development tools into the language of STEM.”

With the aim of “solving people challenges,” Pole helps companies look at their workplace to find ways that help individuals thrive as part of the greater system. She also works with people who are unhappy about the circumstances of their work life and want to analyze and fix the situation.

“My work with individuals focuses on how you are a system unto yourself and through healing your own fractures, you heal the world around you,” she adds.