Stephanie Kristensen

Regulatory Lead and Project Manager at Maskwa Environmental Consulting

Describe a typical day

Since we are a small firm, I am fortunate that no two days are alike.  I have the opportunity to work on many different types of projects, as well as various areas of our corporate operations. I could be in the field doing environmental assessments for a pipeline, having a coffee with a client to review project updates, developing our summer student program or working on our marketing strategy. We have an incredibly cohesive team, so we laugh often, and we often put aside some social time every Friday to participate in team building activities.

Perks of your job and things you like about your current company.

The thing I enjoy most about our company is the progressive approach to leadership from the team. My boss Andy has been a remarkable advocate for my professional development and has ensured that I have the tools required to achieve my goals. The entire team has gone out of their way to provide me with exposure to different types of project work, support me in my decision to pursue my MBA (September 2016 – stay tuned!), and listen when I feel like I have something valuable to say in the boardroom.

The best perks about my job are that we are a small firm, so there are lots of opportunities for cross-training and diversity in the work we do. In addition, I get to work directly with the Senior Leadership Team on our corporate initiatives, so I get a lot of exposure to running a business that I wouldn’t otherwise.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

My proudest accomplishment outside of work is having developed all of the incredible relationships that I have in my life. It is a huge priority for me to make sure that I maintain my relationships with my family, my partner, my friends and my colleagues. Consequently, I have the best support network of anyone I know.

My proudest accomplishment within the office is having the opportunity to simply work with Maskwa. When I was laid off from my previous position in 2015, it was through my client contacts and personal network/reputation that I was able to work with Maskwa within days of losing my job. It was then that I first appreciated the value of building and maintaining strong relationships.

Thoughts on the future of the industry as it relates to your field.

I believe the greatest challenge facing many companies today is the increasingly fast pace at which they are experiencing change. This relates to technology, ideology, politics, generational values, and more. As a result, organizations today struggle more than ever with how best to manage change, making it increasingly hard to strategically invest resources— be it towards sustainability, better stakeholder engagement, attrition of the millennial generation, investing in software, the list goes on. Compound this with the fact that companies often cannot widely and readily implement change, which can result in less agile and profitable businesses. In order to better manage these challenges moving forward, I believe the coming decades will see us move away from the model of centralized multi-national conglomerates, to more locally focused business models.

Current community involvement efforts.

This is something that I value a lot. Calgary is fortunate to have a great deal of local support – in terms of resources – for community efforts.

I personally tend to get involved with water-based organizations because of my background in water research, so I am a Director on the Board with the Alberta Chapter for the Canadian Water Resources Foundation, and I have done a great deal with Waterlution.

I am also very passionate about providing support to the up and coming generation, so I currently work with Girls 20, which promotes the role of women in emerging economies and advocates for young women with an interest in leadership. I also spearheaded Maskwa’s Summer Student Program in hopes of providing experience to university students while increasing the capacity of our team. There is a lot of up and coming talent in Alberta and I think we need to do more to nurture that resource and help young people excel.

Why YWE?

YWE provides an unparalleled avenue for young, like-minded women to come together around shared experiences and goals, and all of those I’ve met through the group have been incredible. As young women, we are faced with decisions in our careers that men do not have to make. Having a strong group of female peers to learn from and lean on definitely provides a powerful resource for guidance and mentorship.

What are you reading?

Right now I’m reading The Five Choices by Franklin Covey Co.