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Employee Spotlight

EllisDon Civil is growing and we are looking for leaders who are passionate and entrepreneurial because our ultimate goal is to make EllisDon a place where exceptional people achieve meaningful careers. It’s not just about identifying the best and brightest people – it’s about having the best and brightest people identifying themselves to us. This is the opportunity for you to have the career you have always wanted. Tell us what you want to do, and we will provide the vehicle for it.

But, what does a career at EllisDon mean for you? We recently caught up with Allegra Marcus. Allegra has completed three successful co-op terms with our Civil Division trying out three different roles including Assistant Proposal Coordinator, Estimating Student, and Assistant Project Coordinator. Upon graduation, she has become a full time Project Coordinator with our EllisDon Civil team.

Allegra Markus

Project Coordinator – EllisDon Civil
1. How many co-op placements did you complete with EllisDon and what were the positions?

I did three summer co-op placements with EllisDon, all of which were in the Civil Division. During my first co-op I worked as an Assistant Proposal Coordinator, the second was as an Estimating Student and the third was as an Assistant Project Coordinator. My first two co-ops took place in the Head Office and my final co-op was on site at the York University Subway Station project.

2. What did you see as being the benefits to having different student roles within EllisDon?

I loved that I was able to work in completely different groups in Civil each summer. I had the chance to connect with and build a network of people I knew in the company and the industry before starting full time. I also gained a general understanding of the industry as a whole and the type of life I would have after graduation. My student roles at EllisDon made it possible to form an opinion of what type of role I wanted to go into after I graduated and be confident that I would enjoy coming to work every day (which I do!).

3. How did your student placements help you with your schooling?

Going back to school after my first summer co-op, I noticed a major change in my work ethic and ability to work productively in teams for project based work while I was in school. My time management skills and attention to detail improved as I realized delivering high-quality work to a client is your only chance in obtaining significant projects for the future.

This continued to hold true after every summer as I had the opportunity to gain more experience from my co-op placements. I learned what it actually meant to work professionally in a team and I became more comfortable in taking on leadership roles at school. It was extremely helpful to visualize what I was learning in school after seeing it applied in real projects.

4. How has your student placements helped you in your full time position as a Project Coordinator?

As I mentioned earlier, my placements with EllisDon has helped me grow a large network of colleagues in different areas of the company. I always know who to talk to if I need help or supplementation to a current task I’m working on. This has been useful as a Project Coordinator because my job involves pulling together information from people in different areas of the company.

I was also able to get an idea of what a Project Coordinator does when I completed my last co-op placement as an Assistant Project Coordinator on the York University Subway Station. There were several Project Coordinators on that project who were always willing to give me additional tasks and support me in my work. One thing I found extremely helpful in choosing what type of job I wanted after I graduated was talking to my coworkers about career development. I liked the option of building a career in project management starting as a Project Coordinator. I couldn’t be happier where I am now and I am very excited for the future!

5. What are some of your current responsibilities as a full time Project Coordinator?

I started working full time about four months ago and I’ve already worked on two different project proposals as a Project Coordinator. My responsibilities include organizing project activities for communicating risks, opportunities and the current state of the project to the correct individuals. I have helped create reports, presentations and staffing charts that relay the status and progression of a project to the executives of the company.

I have also had the opportunity to work alongside a Project Manager (whom I worked with in a previous co-op placement) in developing a strategy for planning and relocating public utilities for a project. This was something I had no previous experience with and was able to learn in a short amount of time with the guidance of this manager and my team.

6. What do you enjoy about working on civil projects?

I like that there’s always a promise of change and progression when working in Civil. Since it is project based work, you know that you will not be working on the same project, in the same location or on the same team forever. This is definitely not a “sit in the same cubical for the rest of your life” type of job. There is always a chance to expand your skills and network.

Civil is growing exceedingly and if there is a group you would really like to work with (Procurement, Estimating, BIM, etc.), I’ve found that all you have to do is ask. The people at EllisDon know that you do your best work when you are happy in your position.

7. Why should recent graduates be interested in a full time position with EllisDon?

At EllisDon, there is a huge network of energetic people that are at the beginning of their career and share the same passions as you. That being said, there is also an equally huge amount of mentors and highly experienced professionals that are always willing to help you learn. The culture here is unparalleled.

I’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth in the company since I started my co-ops in 2014. EllisDon is extremely respected in the industry and continually acquires huge projects across Canada based on the fact that the people at this company are pleasant to work with and get the job done. There is something about this company that keeps clients and employees coming back for more… I know I did!