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Jeremiah Vanderlaan, BEngM '13

(Civil Engineering-Structure/Geotech)

A thousand different directions

Everyone says that you learn from mistakes. But Jeremiah Vanderlaan has an additional tip: “They don’t have to be your mistakes.”

He urges young people starting their careers to find mentors.

“You don’t know what you don’t know, but there are people on the same journey as you who are three, five or 10 years ahead of you,” says the 2013 civil engineering and management grad. “Learn from them. And if you don’t have access to them directly, then read their stories.”

He also advises building and strengthening self-discipline.

“Your career can go a thousand different ways after obtaining a degree, however in each of those thousand different directions, discipline and the ability to learn new things quickly will always be crucial skills to have.”

While Vanderlaan studied structural engineering with the vision of working with architects to design buildings that were both functional and visually pleasing, his own career has gone in one of those different directions.

“When I got into the workplace, I realized that my interests in leadership, management, efficiency and productivity were leading me down more of an organizational management path,” he says. “I love seeing people grow and being able to help them and motivate them on their own journeys.”

Leaving behind a project engineering role, Vanderlaan moved into business development. His current role is as National Expansion and Branding Director for Wilcox Door Services Inc.

“I am responsible for expanding the company across Canada and managing the national marketing strategy,” he says. “Taking the management program as part of my degree has definitely influenced my career path, and ultimately, led me to this position.”


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