Made by hands-on learning
We sat down with alum Jennifer Dumoulin BSc(AgEnvSc)’11 Environmental Biology to ask a few questions about her student experiences that led to a successful career as an environmental manager.
I was drawn to McGill, well, because it’s McGill, a renowned university! And my program was based at the Macdonald Campus, simply a beautiful place by the Saint Lawrence River with an arboretum and a farm.
I could make my degree my own with the Environmental Biology program since it offered a variety of specializations and courses to choose from. Many courses had fieldwork and some had me travelling to New York, New Brunswick and East Africa, as well as some very interesting local places like Mont St-Hilaire, Hudson, and more! That hands-on experience in real-world settings taught me to be adaptable and opened my eyes to variability not only in the environment but in social settings as well.
My education at McGill would not have been as successful if it were not for all of my extracurricular activities.
I was an environmental advisor with the Macdonald Campus Students’ Society. Through this position, I was able to work on sustainability projects with the administration to reduce waste and improve services.
Throughout my time at Mac, I worked at the Mac Market, volunteered for a professor doing partial animal dissections, performed atmospheric testing in lakes, wetlands and forests in Ontario and Quebec, worked with the Cree at a Hydro-Quebec site, and so many more dynamic opportunities.
Each opportunity seized was a critical part of my learning path, and the beginning of my career path as a leader in environment.
My passion for the environment was nourished by the education, the hands-on approach in classes, the inspirational professors, and the various opportunities I had to test my leadership skills at McGill. These experiences showed me that I had everything it took.
The Macdonald community was always supportive, so much so that they awarded me a Macdonald Gold Key. This type of recognition early on in my career gave me visibility and credibility in the job market. It also helped build my confidence as a leader in the environmental community.
My time at McGill was key in establishing the foundation of who I am as an environmental career professional. After McGill, I worked in environmental management in the municipal sector. Then I opened my own business in family-oriented sustainable products and services and later sold that to go back into environmental management in industrial settings.
Today, I am responsible for sustainability and environment with a leading team in critical minerals recovery from sustainable sources like electric vehicle batteries. As I look back on my time at McGill and my career path, I see how the leadership skills and the knowledge I gained continue to influence me to find ways to improve our future. No matter what my future holds, I know that I will continue to make a difference. Since opportunities in the environmental sector are vast, I also know there is always an opportunity knocking at the door. All I need to do is open it.
Read more Made by McGill alumni stories