Sponsor Spotlight: Ontario Society of Professional Engineers
During the last leg of orientation, the OLIP interns had the privilege of meeting with Stuart Atkinson and Andrea Carmona from the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE); a long-time sponsor and supporter of OLIP. Speaking with Stuart and Andrea not only provided a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at their work as the voice of Ontario’s Engineers, but also provided us with insights on the value of marketing for advocacy work, multi-stakeholder knowledge translation, and the future of the engineering sector.
OSPE’s general mission is to facilitate conversation and collaboration between current engineers, government, and relevant stakeholders on issues important to the engineering community and to Ontario society. For Stuart and Andrea, it means hosting conferences, amplifying the voices of those they aim to serve, and translating technical engineering plans for government officials.
Many of the skills involved in completing these daily tasks were learned in their past experiences in politics and marketing. For example, Andrea highlighted her experience in marketing as integral to her current role at OSPE as it allowed her to maintain a consistent brand across her projects and better sell suggestions to a diverse set of stakeholders. This was to the delight of some interns who had a similar marketing background.
In contrast, Stuart has had extensive experience working for government in sectors like environment, infrastructure and energy. This gave him know-how to distill technical information into a 2-page briefing note that would be of interest to a political staffer or politician; a skill we will be well versed in by the end of our internship!
Finally, both highlighted OSPE’s turn towards more diversity and youth-empowering projects. Due to shifts in OSPE’s membership demographics as well as shifts in societal values, OSPE is emphasizing these projects as a tool to stay up to date with its members and attract individuals who may feel alienated from traditional engineering circles. While none of us are engineers ourselves, these initiatives hit home for us. If not for programs like OLIP – or its sponsors like OSPE – who believe in bringing together diverse perspectives and instilling youth with the skills of tomorrow, we would not find ourselves in the incredible positions we are in today. Thank you for your support OSPE!