The first session of the Discover Engineering 1997 Summer Camp ended on July 12. One of the last day's activities was a panel of speakers, all women engineers, who talked about their professional experiences. Questions and answers session followed. On the panel were Carolyn Adams, Senior Project Engineer with Marshall, Macklin Monaghan Ltd, Maya Singh, President of CSIE (Canadian Society for Industrial Engineers), Consultant, and Professor at Centennial College, Yasmin Valani, Design Engineer with Pratt & Whittney Canada, and Marianne Chan, Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Toronto, currently completing her Professional Experience Year with HTS Engineering.
For Marianne, an active member of the Ontario Section of ASME (American Society for Mechanical Engineers) - one of the Camp sponsors, the panel was a trip down the memory lane - Marianne is a 1992 Discover Engineering Camp graduate.
Marianne's family, originally from Hong Kong, wanted her to study medicine, and she was expected to follow her parents' wishes. She dutifully enrolled in all the required science courses, until Grade 12, when a visit to the University of Toronto Open House in the Medical School shook her resolve.
It was the Ryerson "'Discover Engineering" Summer Camp however, that finally made her change her mind.
She learned in a fun way that engineering is an interesting field, and a viable career option for a woman. Marianne recalled being where her young audience was today, listening to experiences of panel speakers - all practising women engineers, and saying to herself - "yeah, I can do that..."
Here is Marianne's
advice to young women contemplating choosing engineering as a career: