Welcome to Indigenous Futures in Engineering, Queen's University

Marc Paré

B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering
Job title: 
Mechanical Engineer

Type(s) of Engineering:

Favourite thing: 

"Dealing with people and working with technical projects."

In 1979, when Marc Paré walked into the airplane engine manufacturer Pratt and Whitney for his first day of work as a mechanical technician he already knew where he wanted to be later in life. He told his co-workers and his boss that his goal was to become one of the company's engineering managers. Today his title is Manager of Vane Rings (vane rings are one of the many thousands of components in an airplane engine) and 18 people in two different departments report to him.

"I had a CEGEP DEC in Mechanical Manufacturing. When I decided to go back to school for my engineering degree I knew it was a long-term decision." Mr. Paré continued to work at Pratt and Whitney while he worked toward his degree in mechanical engineering part-time at night. It took 8 1/2 years. "I had a clear goal to improve my skills and get a better job. In the end, it paid off."

He thinks having a goal is very important. "I would tell students to do that, sit down and visualize where they want to be five years from now." But he is quick to point out that you do not reach a goal without exerting effort, "It's the 3 S approach - study, study, study. It's the key to success.

"Mr. Paré believes it is important for young Native people to continue their studies into CEGEP and University. "It gives you confidence. It gives you the ability to communicate well. And engineering, it gives you the ability to look at a problem and review it analytically from all sides." These skills, he says, are vital to economic growth in Indigenous communities. "I think if we could have more people involved with engineering or with university degrees, we could be self-sufficient. There are lots of ideas in our communities, but not enough training in how to make the ideas real."

Community needs aside, Mr. Paré insists that students pursue studies for their own benefit, "Going to University and CEGEP is a contract. It's like a full-time job, but you don't get paid. It's also a long-term decision that means hard work. You have to do it for yourself."

Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, Canada

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