Q&A with BC 2020 Richard McKeagan Scholarship Series Winner

The Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC) has released the recipients of the 2020 Richard McKeagan Scholarship series. In total, $17,000 was awarded to students in the mechanical contracting and engineering fields. In BC, MCABC student member and BCIT student Mina Ariana won three scholarships through the series. Congratulations Mina!

MCABC had a chance to interview Mina to learn more about her decision to pursue a career in the mechanical contracting field and what she enjoys about the industry.

Q: What is your Program of study? What year are you in?

Master of Engineering in Building Science at BCIT (part time, 2nd year).  

Q: What led you to a career in the Mechanical Contracting Industry?

I have a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from UBC and about 4 years of experience as an Estimator in the Architectural world after graduation. Two years ago I decided it was time to move back to the Mechanical field while staying in the Construction Industry so that I could combine my education and work experience. I was very fortunate to be selected for an interview at Davidson Brothers Mechanical Contractors Ltd. and then hired full time. At Davidson Bros, I am not just an employee, but also I get a sense of being a part of a wonderful family who have been so kind to extend their support for my educational goals as well!

Q: What do you like best about the industry?

I really like the people I meet and interact with on a daily basis. Also, the variety of projects I get to work on… improvements or new builds, complex or small, etc. and the challenges these projects each bring with them that sort of need solving like a puzzle!

Q: What is your current position and what do you enjoy most about it?

I am an Estimator. I really like variety.. being able to work on different projects and multitasking with attention to detail; and also going on site walks and seeing it all fall into place … all in all never a dull day at work!  

Q: What advice would you give women thinking about a career in this industry?

Go for it, why not?! If you are interested in any career and as long as you (and only you) are comfortable with facing the challenges brought by that particular industry (and I mean any industry, not just contracting), there is nothing and no one that can or should stop you! The world is full of wonderful people who might be a little bit old fashioned or simply worried, and with your best interest at heart, might be thinking that a career in a male dominated industry is not for you; but remember that you are your own person and that your future relies on the decisions you make and does not (and should not) depend on what other people think. If you believe this – while fully and logically considering all your strengths, abilities, and options (and even taking into consideration the advice of your loved ones even if it is against your decision) – then the possibilities for you are endless! Trust in yourself and your abilities and never take no for an answer. Best wishes to you and your success 😊

Q: How will the scholarships help you?

Oh, where to begin? First and foremost, financially of course; and they will go towards my education (school supplies mainly)… And secondly, these scholarships are definitely a huge help in terms of EMOTIONAL support and validation… That feeling of “YES! I CAN DO THIS!!” – similar to what my parents always (used to and still) tell me.. I am hoping that these scholarships, as a symbol of recognition and accomplishment, would bring a smile and joy to my parents – who sacrificed quite a lot to support and help me get to where I am today, especially during very difficult times in my life. I also would like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful sponsors of the Richard McKeagan Scholarship Series and the amazing people at MCA Canada. I am truly grateful for the scholarships and their support. These scholarships allow me to worry less and instead focus more on my studies. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!! 😊