Welcome to ISL’s Young Professionals! We feature ISLers who are taking the engineering world by storm. Get to know what led them to a career in engineering, what their day-to-day looks like and what they think sets ISL apart.
Meet Angela Schabauer, a C.E.T. and Municipal Engineer-in-Training based in our Calgary office. Angela has been with ISL for over 5 years.
C.E.T., Municipal E.I.T., Calgary
What is your role at ISL?
Civil Technologist – Design / Municipal Engineer-in-Training. My focus is completing detailed design within C3D mainly for stormwater projects.
What big project are you working on right now (or have you recently completed)?
West Calgary Ring Road dominated my schedule and life for approximate a year and a half, with my contribution wrapping up a few months ago.
When and why did you decide you wanted to be an engineer?
As long as I can remember; though there was a brief period (in about 10th grade) that I considered becoming a lawyer.
I wanted to become an engineer because I have always been fascinated with problem solving, I would finish books of logic problems quicker than my parents could supply them.
I have always looked at the processes that I encountered and began thinking about how to make it more effective and efficient.
What was the path you took to get to where you are today? (school, volunteering, work experience/co-ops, networking, ect.)
My trip to get where I am today has been a long path of detours, stalls and sometimes even going backwards.
When I was in Grade 12 I was lucky enough to be able to convince my school administration to let me complete a Co-Op term (half days for a semester) with an engineering firm. The only catch was that since they did not have a network of engineering companies, I had to canvas around to find a company willing to have me come in.
I was fortunate enough to find a civil consulting firm next door to the part time job I already had and the co-op term helped to further solidify my desire to pursue engineering.
After this I went to school, graduating with my Geological Engineering degree from Queen’s, and a job offer with an environmental engineering firm out in Calgary.
I packed up everything I owned and started anew, unfortunately 6 months later I would be laid off.
While this didn’t deter me, searching for a new opportunity was unsuccessful, it was 1 year later that I decided I should go back to school.
Having taken a drafting/design course all 4 years of high school I knew I enjoyed drafting so I chose the Engineering Design and Drafting program at SAIT starting Fall 2014, and if it wasn’t for this detour I wouldn’t have found ISL.
In my last semester, winter 2016, ISL came in to make a presentation looking to hire team members from the graduating class, I was the lucky one chosen and I have been here since.
If you take one lesson from this story it should be this; There isn’t only one path to get to your goal, for some it may take longer to achieve. Dedication and adapting to what life throws at you is more important than being quicker than everyone else.
What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
Every project is like a new puzzle, you dig through finding all the information available to figure out the best solution to the project, while at the same time trying to complete your task more effectively and efficiently. I’m a bit of a process/procedure, and statistics nerd.
What does a typical day at ISL look like for you? (coffee, inspections, site visits, phone calls, team meetings, design, emails, ect.)
I spend the majority of my day in C3D, either creating the project design solutions or preparing the drawings/figures for the project. Any of my spare time through the day is spent working on one of my side initiatives such as; writing out internal processes for our CADD team, testing out new tools from the new CADD releases, working on advancing our teams CADD standard initiative, or helping to organize the resources for the future CADD Standards migration.
What are some of your favourite ISL experiences? (Cool projects, social events/charitable initiatives, daily office life, ect.)
One of my favourite experiences has been being able to drive past, or see on google maps/earth, a project that I completed, and think to myself “I made dis”.
Where do you hope to be in 10 years?
I love a lot of what I do so I want to be doing want I do now only more advanced; make the projects being more difficult, my role more of a leading role on the team, and my skill level and knowledge more advanced.
I not afraid to trying new challenges so we might as well throw in some new tasks/roles for me to take part in too if we are custom making my future