Marie-Pierre Lussier expected she’d design fancy concept cars for Audi or jet engines for Rolls Royce when she grew up.
“As a teenager, I loved cars, was fascinated by planes and all other large mechanical machines,” she says. “Since business acumen is key for all industries, the Mechanical Engineering and Management degree seemed like a perfect fit.”
Turns out her career didn’t lead her anywhere near either cars or planes, but rather, into the health care industry.
Since graduating in 2002, Lussier has worked in a variety of roles in the Toronto-area health care field. She’s sold equipment, overseen capital development, managed software implementation, and guided the design and construction of hospitals and medical laboratories.
Today, she is the Director of Project Management for Bennett Design Associates, a firm specializing in interior design and project management of interior spaces for clients in a range of corporate, retail, institutional, and health care fields.
She is responsible for overseeing project management teams to ensure client projects are delivered on time and within budget. She also develops the firm’s project management processes, documents, and standards.
“A big part of the role also involves networking with fellow architectural and engineering consultants and providing business development support in selling both design and project management services,” says Lussier. “Wearing many hats is typical of a small company – it keeps things exciting.”
She urges students to be open to the chance to learn new things.
“Be fluid and take opportunities when they present themselves,” she says. “Part of my success came as a result of getting out of my comfort zone and learning from the various roles as my career evolved.”
“And never underestimate the importance of excellent communication, teamwork, and relationship-building skills. Very few roles work alone – to get ahead you need to be smart and have others want to work with you.”