Evelyne Bucumi, IBI Group

Why did you choose to go into consulting?

I did not always think I would be a Consultant. The names you typically see on larger projects are those of the client or contractor. I thought with a civil engineering degree that I would be working with a contractor on large infrastructure projects. Consulting engineers typically work in the background of projects, so I did not know consulting engineering existed when I went into post-secondary. I fell into consulting because of a couple of work placements I had in the Co-op program at the U of A. As I worked for those companies, I proved that I was adaptable and caught on quickly. I also realized that as a consultant I would be more involved in the design and planning stages of projects which to me was more exciting.

Tell us about your job. What do you do?

As a Project Manager I oversee projects from start to finish. I deal directly with clients, contractors and other consultants to coordinate design and construction of municipal development projects. I get to do a little bit of everything from design, budgeting, research, and peer reviews. I also have the opportunity to work with other disciplines like planners, architects, landscape architects, and geomatics. As I progress in my career I am focusing more on relationships with clients. I get to represent our clients and provide my engineering expertise and perspective to influence projects to be economical, efficient and safe for the general public.

What motivates you the most in your job?

I really enjoy what I do as a consultant because of the variety of people I work with and the variety of work I get to do. It is very rewarding when the project team puts in the effort to perform the same goal. Also, there is a lot of opportunities to learn and grow professionally because there are a lot of opportunities for projects and professional relationships.

What excites you the most about the future of consulting?

For the future of consulting I am excited about the new technologies out there. We are already using drones, BIM, and virtual reality to name few. The evolution of new technologies can lead to more efficiencies in projects. The effort and costs saved means better product delivery and more relationship and project opportunities. I am also eager to incorporate more sustainability practices in all parts of project delivery. In engineering the math might always be the same but the methodology can always evolve.

What advice would you give a young person who was considering consulting engineering as a future area of expertise?

To be successful as an engineer in consulting it is all about communication. Communicate goals, expectations and provide regular feedback to your coworkers and project team. This will allow people to feel that they can depend on you and it allows you to hold people accountable. If there is no formal way to communicate internally or externally do not let this hold you back. Be proactive and find a way to communicate consistently.




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