WSP Canada Inc. (Edmonton)
Years of experience: 20
Last updated: March, 2022
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Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) - Landscape Architectural Technologist Diploma Program
AECOM/UMA - Junior/Intermediate Landscape Architectural Technologist
L.A. West (Calgary) Inc. - Intermediate/Senior Landscape Architectural Technologist, Project Manager
WSP Canada Inc. (Edmonton) - Design Lead, Senior Project Manager, Team Lead, (Current) Landscape Architecture Manager -Edmonton
Continue to enhance and support general public awareness of what Landscape Architecture is, champion the abilities of our industry and furthermore the vastness of career opportunities for LAT's.
I worked as a LAT in a fast paced private consultant firm. Completely unaware of what I'd actually be asked to do initially, I never turned down or shied away of any asks of me. I began in CAD production/quantity take-offs, quickly transitioned to field support, gaining experience with constructability of designs (even spent many hours working the rod and level supporting the survey crews of park sites I was involved on). This then transitioned to beginning to dabble in some basic preliminary design and grading exercises with support from the Project Managers and LA's. This experience was foundation and really lit the spark for my passion for this industry. I was privileged to work with a vast assortment of skillsets and project management styles amongst my colleagues and I was also provided the support to build on my responsibilities within the team. This type of structure (being able to gain experience in multiple areas) really gave me the best assortment of basic skills and understanding. I now am part of a team that is structured similarly and I feel that having the freedom and ability to work on various parts of the project(s), gives everyone a chance to see where they have the most fun and can excel and challenge themselves.
The vastness of what we do. Project diversity and also the many roles and opportunities that an LAT has available to them.
Being adaptive, responsive, attentive, supportive and stretching beyond your comfort zone are huge skills to have. We will all make mistakes, but I've found that you'll gain more recognition for trying something new, even if you fail, then you would if you never tried at all. So long as you learn from those mistakes and build your skills in response. It's difficult to expand abilities without trying something new. You can't learn to ride a bike, by only reading a book on how to do it. You need to ride.
It's critical to really enjoy what you do and to support and enjoy working with the people around you. Also being able to have a tangible product when the project is done, to be able to visit a space years later, really is a great occupation to have. "Getting paid to walk in Parks" is the lighthearted explanation that I give my kids.
Anytime I can talk 'shop' with an industry colleague, I'm there. It's such a small industry, its rewarding to often see familiar faces to catch up and also to meet new people to grow our collective AALA network.
Working closely with other disciplines comes with challenges, but this is what makes it more rewarding. I really put effort into understanding what goals they are trying to accomplish and then in turn provide options and solutions within our LA field, to provide the be results possible while still keeping our scope front of mind.
Be open to any and all opportunities and trust (and be patient with) the growing and learning process. A role or task may not seem like its applicable to what you think you should be doing, but you never know when that skill you developed, will come back into light and really springboard another opportunity for you down the road.