Marie-Josée Potvin - Senior System Engineer
- Quote: Claim your seat at the table. Be bold and make your mark.
- Education: Bachelor in engineering physics, master in mechanical engineering, Ph.D. in mechanical engineering
- Job title: Senior System Engineer
- Employer: Canadian Space Agency
What is unique about your job?
I work with people who are passionate about advancing knowledge in the space sector for the benefit of all Canadians.
Which professional accomplishment are you the most proud of?
I'm very proud of all the students, teachers and professionals who've gotten ahead and thrived in the space sector, thanks in part to some interaction we've had.
Who or what helped you the most throughout your career?
The thirst for intellectual challenge. To be happy in this field, you have to enjoy stretching your knowledge and your capabilities to the limit.
What advice would you offer to girls or women?
First off, work hard to build your credibility; don't shy away from the highly technical end of things. Then claim your seat at the table. Be bold and make your mark.
How do / did you reconcile work commitments and your family life?
For me, work/life balance is not about getting everything. You cannot simultaneously have an awesome social life, happy and thriving children, a 70-hours-a-week career, and a clean house. As the mother of a young man with a degenerative neurological disorder, my first priority is my mental health. And to me, karate is what steadies me. At work, the projects I take on are stimulating, but can be done in a reasonable number of hours. My social life is combined with activities I do with my four grown-up children, ensuring we get a lot of quality time to talk. At the end of the day, if my mental health is steady, my children are happy despite everything, my employees are thriving, and my boss is satisfied with my work, I call this mission a success! Oh, but the house remains a mess!
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