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The next generation of Stantec professionals: A mentorship turned into a full-time career

June 16, 2021

By following Saad’s academic journey, Marc Pearson, senior principal, found a talented young engineer who now works on Stantec’s water team

When you enter the workforce as a young professional, you get a lot of advice. This advice tends to highlight the value of networking and making as many connections as possible. Saad Rajput, mechanical engineer in training, picked up on the importance of these ideas early on.

I met Saad at Overton High School in Nashville, Tennessee, where Stantec is a business partner supporting their Engineering Academy. I visited frequently to speak with students and introduce them to the vast world of engineering. These connections allow students to learn more about our various professions and see what a day in our lives is really like. Saad was a sophomore at Overton when we met, and he stood out among his peers. His passion for learning and his drive to succeed were clear. During subsequent trips to the school, we’d often talk, and I did my best to provide mentorship for his future pursuits.

After graduating from Overton, Saad enrolled in college where he chose to study engineering. His first advisor told him that he would not make it as an engineer; however, that did not deter him. He reassessed his situation, switched universities, and ended up at Lipscomb University. We kept in touch and frequently communicated about classes and his future plans.

Marc Pearson (left) and Saad (right) during Saad’s graduation from Lipscomb University.

In the summer of 2019, I hired Saad as an intern. His motivation stood out even further as he showed a passion for our company and the community. He always went above and beyond on his project work, and he even came back after classes started to volunteer during our Stantec in the Community Week event.

It’s no surprise to me that Saad ultimately succeeded in achieving his goal. This past spring, I was humbled to receive an invitation to sit alongside his parents as he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. Simultaneously, I reached out to a colleague in our office who was excited to offer Saad a full-time position with Stantec. His first full day was May 24, 2021!

I fundamentally believe in the value of education, and that it’s each of our responsibilities to support the next generation of STEAM students. There are many lessons we can learn from Saad’s journey, but the most important one is that with the right combination of determination and willingness to learn from others, you can achieve your goals even when others doubt that it’s possible.

Developing professional relationships early in your career is a great way to get ahead and build a support system that will stay with you for years to come.

Read more about Saad’s story on page 7 of the Pencil 2020-2021 Annual Report.

Marc Pearson accompanies Saad and fellow Lipscomb University student Meadya Doski during their internships at Stantec.

  • Marc Pearson

    Marc specializes in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Information Management (IM) in support of flood hazard analysis, water resource engineering, mitigation planning and other environmental related services.

    Contact Marc
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