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Trish Goodridge, B.Eng. '94

Taking an accounting of the opportunities

Trish Goodridge sometimes tells people that her job is like working in a perpetual episode of the television show How It’s Made.

And while it’s hard to imagine an engineer who wouldn’t love that, Goodridge actually works for accounting giant KPMG Canada as a manager in tax incentives.

“I help companies identify the research and development work they do that qualifies for federal and provincial tax credits and incentives, as well as helping them navigate the application process,” she explains.

The role demands that she understand the processes, technologies and industry challenges facing a variety of clients. She draws on the technical and operational experience gained from two decades working as an engineer in the automotive and composite industries.

“There are so many things I love about this field,” says the 1994 Mechanical Engineering graduate. “Every day is different. One day I may be working with an engineering firm doing field-leading research and another, helping a small start-up company find programs to finance their next stage of growth.”

“My favourite days are when I am on a client site, learning their processes and discussing their research and product development.”

Goodridge says she never expected her career to lead her to an accounting firm, but the job has opened her eyes to the out-of-the-box opportunities available to engineers.

Looking back on her university days, Goodridge says one of the greatest impacts on her life has been the friendships she made through participating in engineering clubs and activities.

“They say you are the average of the five people you are closest with, and these outstanding women inspired and continue to inspire me to grow and push my comfort zone,” she says. “Even 25 years after graduation, we still talk almost weekly.”

She encourages new graduates to learn all sides of their business and build relationships with everyone.

“You can learn as much from veteran operators as you can from managers,” says Goodridge. “Engineering is not an easy career, keep a sense of humour and remember it’s just one part of who you are.”