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Industry Associations as communities of engagement for the Developing Professional

August 30, 2021

How recognition and engagement indirectly support career growth through participation in industry associations

Throughout university, Dominic Murray-Fiume—civil engineer, Water—was not one to volunteer. However, as more of his time was spent working in the Water industry and he saw his friends participating in industry associations and recognized the benefits it could have, he finally decided to put his hand up and say yes to a volunteering opportunity.

Dominic began his journey with Stantec as a graduate in 2017 and is an active member of our Developing Professionals Group (DPG), currently acting as lead of the Australia chapters from our Melbourne office. The ‘yes’ mentality when it comes to volunteering is one perspective the DPG fosters in its members through a focus on developing connections with peers, leadership, and the community.

Since first putting his hand up 5 years ago, Dominic is heading into his second term on the Australian Water Association (AWA) Young Water Professionals Committee and previously held a position with Engineers Australia on the Women in Engineering committee. “I recognized that I spend a large portion of my time working. Therefore, I wanted to create a genuine community of friends within the industry,” he shared.

The Key Benefits of Mentorship and Recognition

When reflecting on the connections he’s made through industry associations, Dominic offers two main takeaways: mentoring and recognition. As “having a previous mentoring relationship was super positive, the prospect of guiding others seemed like a valuable way to create new relationships within the industry whilst helping others,” he states. While acting as the university engagement coordinator for the AWA Young Water Professionals committee, Dominic has been able to support engineering graduates starting to navigate the Water Industry by finding out what makes them tick and helping them discover their passion in engineering—water-related or not.

When it comes to recognition, Dominic suggests that “the influence of my new industry relationships has been realized through opportunities for participation. I’ll often be one of the names that comes up as someone who’s keen to get involved and understands the ropes.” He has also liaised with senior leaders he’d otherwise not have a chance to interact with, which not only expands his personal network but can also lead to new client relationships.

“I’ve been able to facilitate successful mentoring relationships with students, graduates, and senior staff. I’ve also found that my ability to connect others using my network has been valuable throughout. Even some of the connections I made in the AWA have led to work for Stantec that we’d otherwise not have seen.”

A Culture of Engagement

Overall, it’s the culture of recognition and engagement cultivated within relationships that keep Dominic involved with industry associations. “I think my biggest lesson has been how valuable it is to lift others up and support them in their development. Seeing that positive and supportive culture amongst the water industry has given me an understanding of how important that is when it comes to creating a strong community and retaining the talented people we have.”

For Dominic, there are valuable opportunities provided by associations that help new engineers navigating the industry—creating a community and forming friendships—and the best way to benefit from these is by “putting your hand up and saying yes. You can make each opportunity your own but getting involved makes work a lot more fun.”

Stantec’s Developing Professionals Group is always looking for ways to improve the careers and connections of our people—and in the long term, expanding your community is one of the best ways to find new ideas and opportunities for growth.

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