Like many people nearly three decades into a career, Andrea Clemencio (nee Notarianni) is a long way from where she started and nowhere near where she thought she’d be.
And very grateful that life worked out that way.
She studied materials engineering with a focus on steelmaking and a plan of landing a job at Stelco, but her first job in automotive manufacturing engineering pulled her off that route.
“The path since then has been a zigzag, as careers often are,” she says. “I jumped on opportunities as they unfolded before me while enriching a marriage and three children.”
“What helped most was exactly that – the jumping – recognizing opportunities and leaping into them, rather than trying to steady a straight course to some unknown destination.”
From that initial job in manufacturing, Clemencio moved into positions related to utility efficiency, drinking water management and municipal civil service before landing in her current role as a senior project manager with GM BluePlan Engineering consulting firm.
She says her background now serves her well: “I love consulting for its constant challenge and variety, and I strongly feel the best consultants are those that have worked in all of the sectors.”
And despite awards, publications, and recognition, she says her most satisfying career moments have come from coaching people and delivering “useful, needed, tangible” projects – from pumping stations to strategic plans.
“I had the honour of working on the provincial team that changed Ontario’s drinking water regime after the Walkerton disaster, and I’ve helped younger staff get polished and skilled and sail off to new challenges,” she says.
“I would like to feel I am leaving the simple legacy of knowing that I have made a difference to others.”