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Jason Wight, BEng '00

(Engineering Physics)

Building a great career by accident

Ontario Power Generation wasn’t Jason Wight’s career plan.

In fact, it wasn’t until he stumbled across the company at a pop-up career fair during his final semester that he seriously considered a job in the nuclear industry.

“But the next thing I know, 20 years have gone by and I’m still with the company,” says the Engineering Physics grad with a laugh.

After two decades of working in the nuclear field, Wight has recently taken on the role of OPG’s Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of IT Innovation.

“I’m lucky because the company is so large that you can do almost anything,” he says. “When you face a lull in your career – and everyone goes through lulls, you can try something different and it re-motivates you. That’s pretty exciting – it’s been an excellent career.”

He describes his new role managing OPG’s information and information technology, along with cybersecurity, digital tech and innovation for IT as “fast paced and a heck of a lot of fun.”

One of the best parts of the job is connecting with the innovative ideas being developed in the community, especially at Ontario’s universities and accelerators. He follows the research, connects technologies with resources at OPG, builds relationships and mentors start-ups.

“Some of the young people have amazing ideas that are original and visionary – they’re not status quo, they want to actually change the world,” he says.

“Although we’re a big organization that can be bureaucratic, we still need to foster pockets of innovation and creativity to keep improving and maintain our competitive advantage.”

Some of that passion and creativity comes from interns, co-op students and new employees, who bring different ways of thinking to the organization, adds Wight. It also rubs off on all of the other employees, creating an amazing culture and fantastic place to work.

At a recent global forum on nuclear innovation in South Korea, Wight was invited to give a keynote presentation and met former astronaut and Space X advisor Garret Reisman.

“That was one heck of a career highlight,” he admits.