After earning her mechanical engineering & management degree in 2005, Carly Marshall headed back to her hometown of Sudbury to join global mining company Vale.
She spent her first few years working in technical roles before a temporary stint in a leadership role changed the path of her career.
“I realized that working with people was more of my passion than the technical work and I transitioned into leadership roles,” says Marshall.
She now manages Vale’s engineering department, with responsibility for engineering teams across the company’s Canadian operations.
“My team is constantly looking to improve safety, reduce risk and solve problems,” she says. “It is exciting to be part of a team that is tasked with solving problems that often don’t have an obvious solution.”
She adds that working with teams across the country gives her a close-up look at the value of collaboration.
“Engineering is not black and white and often there is more than one solution to a problem in a plant or mine,” she says.
“Brainstorming issues – both technical and non-technical – with team members across different provinces often helps to identify creative solutions we may not have come up with in isolation.”
Marshall urges students to find friends to lean on during challenging school days and says many McMaster friendships still endure in her life.
“I love to see the different paths that friends have taken,” she says. “It’s amazing how many of us graduated from the same program but have taken very different paths in our careers.”
She also advises young engineers not to be afraid to ask questions during those early jobs.
“Take advantage of the knowledge of others who have been in your field for years and learn as much as you can from them.”
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