Human Environment Specialist
Claire joined the Yellowknife Office in 2019 supporting the Human Environment team as a Human Environment Specialist. As a young professional, Claire, has found that Hemmera is a great place to work because of the balance between learning and performance expectations of junior staff. As someone who is new to the field, she feels her abilities are never underestimated and she is challenged on a daily basis. Claire says, “with support from more experienced team members when working in unfamiliar areas and an emphasis on building a team of knowledgeable and capable people with an aptitude for learning, Hemmera is a great place for young professionals.”
What do you enjoy most about working at Hemmera?
One of the aspects of my job that I enjoy most is interacting with and learning from the diverse backgrounds of the people I work with everyday. In my role, I interact with people from all lines of business who are always willing to provide guidance or insight where needed. This has allowed me to learn about many different areas of the services we offer and deepen my knowledge and application of both the physical and social sciences.
How did you find the onboarding and support received as a new employee entering the workforce?
My onboarding experience was very positive. As a new graduate there was a steep learning curve with regards to the services we provide as well as the way the business functions. Looking back on it, I am grateful for the level of patience my colleagues had with me as I learned the ropes and settled into my role at Hemmera in a new region.
Are you a member of any committees at Hemmera? If yes, what do you enjoy most about this experience?
I am a member of the National Social Committee, Alberta/Northwest Territories Social Committee and the Ausenco/Hemmera HSEC committee. Since I work remotely as one of few staff in the Northwest Territories, being a part of these committees has made it possible for me to connect with my colleagues from different regions who I otherwise would likely not have the opportunity to work with.
Tell us about Hemmera’s Consulting School:
The Hemmera Consulting School is an internal training program that provides Hemmera employees the opportunity to learn about different aspects of the consulting business from in-house experts. The presenters bring years of experience in consulting and provide informative and engaging lessons on topics such as consulting best practices, business development, and finance. As a junior consultant, with no prior consulting experience, I have found these courses to have contributed greatly to my understanding of the business as well as my role within it.
Do you currently have a mentor at Hemmera?
Although I do not formally have a mentor, I have many informal mentors who have provided a lot of guidance and support over this last year with Hemmera. I am part of Hemmera’s reverse mentoring program, which matches recent graduates with experienced staff to facilitate two-way learning. Through this, I have a wonderful mentee who I might argue teaches me more than I teach her!
How would you describe your journey at Hemmera so far?
I would describe my time so far at Hemmera as a positive learning experience with a few big challenges. The closing of the NWT border and inability of my colleagues down south to travel up north has been challenging, however, it meant that I was the only person in the region able to participate in some very interesting fieldwork that I otherwise may not have been able to do. This experience has taught me a lot and has helped me better understand our service offerings and the diverse range of clients we work with.
How would you describe Hemmera’s culture?
Although Hemmera has hundreds of employees in offices across the country, I feel that the culture emphasizes collaboration regardless of distance. I am always impressed with our ability to pull together a project team from all different regions and professional backgrounds to work effectively and efficiently on projects.
Have you participated in any community events or had the chance to give back to a charity with your team?
One initiative that I have participated in is the Social Committee’s Skills Auction; this initiative invites Hemmera employees to enter their unique skill or handmade item into a silent auction where other staff can bid on it. All proceeds going to the charity of the winner’s choice. It was a great success and a fun way to learn about everyone’s talents and personal interests
What is one thing you wish you had known during your undergrad?
An undergrad is an ideal time to step out of your comfort zone and diversify the kind of courses you enroll in. Everyday I am presented with tasks that are outside of my field of study; if I could go back and choose courses differently, I would have enrolled in more courses that encourage practical application of theoretical knowledge such as project management, GIS, statistics, or field schools.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Something I enjoy about my job is that it can be unpredictable making a “typical workday” difficult to summarize. I can work on project deliverables, meet with clients, have team meetings, contribute to proposals, and conduct fieldwork all in the span of a day!
What is your favorite project and why?
I work on a wide range of project across different lines of business, but I really enjoy projects that are in the Yellowknife area and involve direct communication with the community. I am currently working on a community engagement and soil sampling project with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) located in Ndilo, NT. This project has become one of my favourites because it gives me an opportunity to be more involved and present in the community in which I work.