Q & A with Scholarship Recipient Jill Stagg
- I am a resilient, hardworking single Mother who believes strongly in the power of knowledge and the belief that all life experiences, both good and bad, happen so that one day we may be able to better help others. I am a strong advocate for the power of positivity and leadership by example, and using these tools I hope to one day be managing construction projects and the people that make it all happen, using the soft and hard skills that life experience and an excellent George Brown College education have provided me.
- I was just entering my second semester at George Brown College in the Business Administration program when my fiancé was diagnosed with severe depression. I had to put school aside at that time to look for work, and was blessed to be offered an administrative position at an architectural practice in Toronto. A few years later I was promoted to Project Coordinator and began working directly under the Project Architect to assist him in managing multiple Municipal Emergency Services projects in the GTHA. I thoroughly enjoyed the daily management of the various sub-consultants and stakeholders and when we would attend the site meetings or perform site visits for these projects, I was often late getting back to the office because I just didn’t want to leave the site – I was enthralled by the environment and the complexity of the structures and took a keen interest in the construction management side of the projects.
- I have always enjoyed managing variables to achieve positive results and get satisfaction when the results of hard work by all team members are clearly seen in a finished product/project. Construction is a place where you can work with such a diverse group of backgrounds, expertise and roles within the project; every trade and every day is different, and the success of the project delivery truly depends on each trade/person working together cohesively to achieve common goals. As a female in construction, the opportunity to bring a little extra humanity back to the industry also appeals to me, because as Brent Darnell said at the Associated General Contractors Conference last March, it is after all “human beings who build projects”.
- After my fiancé lost his battle with depression, his passing finally prompted me to make the change I had always wanted to and I resigned from my position with the Architectural Practice to begin Full-Time studies at George Brown College in Construction Engineering Technology. Excited for the new start, I was also very worried that I would not be able to financially handle studying full-time. When I received the call from the Awards Office, letting me know I had received the B.O.L.T Scholarship, the relief I felt and the gratitude I had cannot be described in words. Beyond the financial support I learned that I was also being offered the opportunity for mentorship, a summer student position at the Tridel Islington Terrace Site, and an opportunity to be a part of a community of people all there to support and encourage me every step of the way. In one sentence, the B.O.L.T Scholarship is building “ME” for life.
- I would very strongly and enthusiastically recommend the B.O.L.T Program – it is a 360 Degree support system that provides opportunities that can transform lives. B.O.L.T most assuredly builds opportunities for life today, but also for a brighter and stronger tomorrow both professionally and personally.