This month we’re spotlighting our very own EPt, Kyle Bouwknetch. As a young man, Kyle enjoyed travelling, His 7-year travel expedition led him to discover that environmental work was the right career path for him. Kyle went on to earn a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Science.
Today, he is a Sustainability Project Technician working with corporate clients developing carbon footprint and sustainability reports, and where applicable, producing reduction strategies. After being on a job hunt for a while, he has a great appreciation for his new job and is enjoying every moment of it.
In 2020, Kyle made the decision to pursue an EPt designation after completing his studies in the UK.
“I knew it would be beneficial to be certified by a Canadian organization, especially one as well respected as ECO Canada. I did not quite grasp the scope of benefits of certification until I received my EPt and have reaped the rewards since.”
When asked how being an EPt assisted Kyle in spring boarding his career, he was excited to share.
“Being an EPt has provided me with access to lots of quality educational content and helped me iron out exactly what sector of the environmental workforce of which I wanted to be a part. It also provided me with access to a mentor, who was and continues to be, an invaluable resource in my career trajectory. I have been able to leverage the knowledge I have acquired both through ECO Canada training, as well as through the mentorship program, to help me in my job search. I have only just gotten my foot in the door, but I would not be in the position I am in without the help of ECO Canada’s services provided for me.”
Kyle’s biggest challenge in looking for a job was doing so while at the height of COVID. Understanding that networking is such a crucial tool and not having opportunities to put that tool to work was extremely difficult. So what did Kyle do? He focussed on learning by taking some ECO Canada courses and on making contact with local companies, NGOs and other not-for-profits to enquire about volunteer opportunities. All the while, Kyle continued to meet with his ECO Canada mentor whom he felt was a key resource in his job search.
We asked Kyle what the most valuable take-away from his mentoring relationship was and it turns out that it was life-changing.
“I will mention specifically my most valuable takeaway… when I graduated, I was prepared to take any job for any environmental company in any sector just to try to get experience under my belt. My mentor told me to narrow it down to a specific sector that I wanted to work in, and then connect with companies and NGOs and focus my job search in that sector. This was contrary to everything I had thought before, which could be summed up as “any experience is good experience.” This prevented me from getting pigeonholed in a sector that I did not want to work in.”
We also asked Kyle what advice he could pass along to others travelling the road now and he has this to share:
“Find your specific environmental niche. From there, use the ECO Canada resources and mentorship program to help enhance your knowledge of that niche and grow your network in it. Be proud of your designation and understand what it means so that you can tell prospective employers about its importance and relevance. I have a mantra that I apply to pretty much everything in my life and I think it fits here as well: Be accountable. Ask questions. Stay humble”
Join the EP Community Connections Connect to Chat session on July 28, 2021, at 12:30 pm MDT to hear more about Kyle’s experience in detail. To register, click here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/ep-connect-to-chat-registration-161234080475