Building a future from the ground up 

By Russ Cooper

Julie Vaillancourt at work with engineering firm InspecSol. Magnifying glass

Julie Vaillancourt at work with engineering firm InspecSol.

For someone who started off pursuing a career in athletic therapy, Julie Vaillancourt certainly didn't abandon her inclination to stay busy when she chose to go into civil engineering.

Vaillancourt had originally applied to athletic therapy with a second option of civil engineering because the latter, "seemed somewhat interesting." She was accepted into both, but before committing to athletic therapy, she decided to give engineering a bit more consideration.

"I started looking into what civil engineering was about and I found it a lot more interesting that had initially thought," she says. "Now, after having finished my four years, I know I made the right choice by following my gut feeling and switching. I don't regret it for a second."

Graduating with a BEng this spring, Vaillancourt has spent the vast majority of her time at Concordia as part of numerous clubs, associations, teams and volunteer positions. Over her four-year degree, she's appeared on the dean's list three times, been an executive member of Concordia's chapter of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineers and the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (where she competed three of four years). She's participated in many engineering events such as EngGames, the Bridge Building Competition, Mini Baja (SAE), and volunteered for events throughout National Engineering Week.

If that wasn't enough to keep her busy, Vaillancourt says her biggest thrill was playing for the Stingers’ women's rugby team, winning the 2008 QSSF championship. They went on to represent Concordia at the national competition in London, Ont.

"We started as underdogs, and we finished on top," she says. "I can't express in words what it means to have been given the opportunity to play on such a great team." During that time, she was even part of the program to tutor other varsity athletes.

Vaillancourt's plans post-Concordia are already in place. She's currently working for Brossard engineering firm InspecSol – a job the South-Shore-native enjoys for more reasons than cutting down on commute time.

"I'm quite happy being here," she says. "It gives the hands-on experience I need and I'm learning new things everyday."


Concordia University