Connecting Environmentally-Focused Students with Professionals in the Environmental Sector
The MEIA Student Chapter is designed for university and college students who wish to enhance their knowledge of the environmental industry and to network with potential future employers.
The MEIA recognizes the uncertainty the pandemic has brought for students.
That is why the annual Student Chapter membership has been reduced to $30, half the rate from previous years.
Student Chapter membership begins September 1
st and ends August 31 st. Membership is available to all post-secondary students in Manitoba. Recent graduates are eligible for Student Chapter membership for up to 2 years after graduation or until they have found full-time employment in the energy, natural resource, or environmental sectors, whichever comes first.
Membership in the Student Chapter comes with many benefits!
Receive job opportunities sent directly to your inbox Access to networking opportunities such as the Student Chapter’s biannual Speed Mentoring events where you can connect one-on-one with professionals in the environmental sector; Participate in training seminars offering Student Chapter members the opportunity to develop elevator pitch skills, share ideas, projects and opportunities; Discounted rates on MEIA professional development learning sessions, workshops and conferences Scholarship opportunities for members Opportunity to sit on the Emerging Issues Conference Planning Committee
To renew or to become a member of the MEIA’s Student Chapter, fill out the
Member Application Form, or contact MEIA at (204) 783-7090. MEIA Student Chapter Board 2021-22
Joni Reimer, Chair
Autumn Thompson, Vice Chair
Lindsey Solmundson, Event Coordinator
Natalie Desmarais, Event Coordinator
Damien Van, Student Engagement Director
Cailin Hesketh-Jost, Social Media Manager
Anika Hatherly, Creative Marketing Coordinator
Harjot Singh Cheema, Sponsorship Coordinator Student Chapter Alumni
Anneleise Forsythe, SNC-Lavalin I completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science at the University of Manitoba, minoring in soil science. During my undergraduate degree I became a member of MEIA’s student chapter, which gave me the opportunity to attend different conferences and mingle with established professionals in the industry. It was a great way to see the side of environmental consulting that you can’t really fully understand until you are working in that field. Plus, it was a great way to socialize with others while gaining insight as to where employment opportunities may exist once entering the workforce as a new graduate. Afterall, hands on involvement is the best way to explore employment opportunities as opposed to simply having the relevant education! MEIA’s Student Chapter was a great way for more introverted students like myself to get engaged – which set me up for great success once I was ready to start working. I am now employed by SNC-Lavalin where I work as a project scientist. Having a background in soil science has given me the opportunity to work more in reclamation projects and have progressed from being in a junior role to an intermediate role with the opportunity to partake in project management. A typical day in the field is coordinating with subcontractors and providing direction on whichever site we are visiting, starting off with tailgate meetings (HSE), providing information on scope, and then supervising the work taking place to ensure it meets the expectations of the qualified environmental professional on site. Taylor Brown, Canadian Federation of Independent Business I joined the MEIA student chapter in 2015, the first year of my Environmental Studies undergraduate degree at the University of Manitoba. I thought it would be a great way to connect with professionals in the industry, and it was! It was great to see all of the different directions an environmental degree could take you. Given my interests in public policy, I pursued a minor in political science and combined my knowledge of environmental issues to write an honours essay on the politics surrounding climate migrants. I am continuing my education at the University of Ottawa, where I am in the last year of a Master of Public and International Affairs. Professionally, I am currently working in my desired field as an intern policy and research analyst for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Here, I get to represent the interests of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses across the country in legislatures, as well as conduct pertinent research designed to better advocate for our members. Environmental issues are more prevalent than ever, especially as provinces commit to carbon-neutral pacts and green industries. This creates a great opportunity for me to combine my environment and policy background with my prairie upbringing to advocate for the individuals who support our provinces. I plan to graduate in 2022 and continue working as a policy analyst, advancing policies that improve our country’s environment and economy. Stephanie Connell – Researcher at the Centre for Terrestrial and Planetary Exploration (C-Tape) MEIA’s Student Chapter helped me prepare for entry to the workforce by exposing me to the environmental industry as I pursued an undergraduate degree in environmental sciences. Being a member of the MEIA student chapter helped me get started with my career by introducing me to the professional world where I attended my first conference. I have mainly focused on studying the Earth’s environmental processes; however, I have also been able to apply that knowledge to other planets within our solar system through my planetary research. Providing students with networking opportunities with those already in the workforce will surely guide them in the right direction. Chelsey Gulak, Compliance Coordinator at Miller Environmental During my time as an Environmental Studies Coop student at the University of Manitoba I was actively involved with the MEIA Student Chapter. I was on the committee for three years as the Event Coordinator and then as the Chair. Through my volunteering with MEIA and Co-op positions, I was able to grow my network which was how I was introduced to my current employer at Miller. Being a part of the Student Chapter are some of my favorite memories from when I was a student. My favourite events are the tours. They are an easy ice breaker to meet people and you get to learn the type of environmental initiatives local industries are working on. Attending Student Chapter events helped me learn how to network – 3 out of my 4 student positions were obtained through networking and 2 out of the 4 student positions were a direct result of being a Student Chapter committee member. The Student Chapter also connected me directly with peers and industry professionals that provided a reference or hired me. As far as being on the committee, it gave me the opportunity to participate in and run events that helped build my skills: project management, event planning, soil and water sampling, and public speaking. Creating the Student Chapter Discovery Night was the most challenging and rewarding moment I had as a student. Talking to mentors that are recent graduates that can help guide you through the transition into the workforce. Now that I’ve graduated and am working in the industry, I get to give back to the organization that helped me to get where I am today by participating in events as a mentor to the next generation of students. A little bit about where I am now: I was hired after graduation by Miller Environmental Corporation as the Regulatory Administrator providing support to the Regulatory Department. This job included both ensuring environmental, health and safety compliance within the company, in addition to furthering program initiatives. I was promoted to the Compliance Coordinator in 2020 to provide further technical support to the environmental, health and safety programs. Some of my job duties currently include tracking and trending, program development, reporting and providing field level support to staff. Marissa Smirl, Environmental Scientist at Golder Associates, a company of WSP I graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Science from the University of Manitoba. In my third year of university, I joined the MEIA Student Chapter as an Events Coordinator for a year, and then took on the position of Co-chair for the next two years. One beneficial thing about being part of the Student Chapter executive was how much easier it made networking with professionals in the environmental industries. As Events Coordinator, I helped to reach out to mentors to invite them to events such as Speed Networking and Discovery Night. Having already connected with these mentors made that first in-person conversation much less daunting in an already easy-going environment. Being a Student Chapter member made the decision to take the Groundwater and Soil Sampling course offered by MEIA much easier due to the significantly reduced costs for Student Chapter members. After less than a year of working at Golder Associates, a company of WSP, as an Environmental Scientist on their Contaminated Sites team, I have already used all the skills taught in that course many times. I was very lucky to have the opportunity to be on a panel of Student Chapter members who spoke at the 2019 Emerging Issues Conference. This is a new addition to the benefits of being on the Student Chapter. We were able to discuss what the student experience is like in the environmental industries. If you are interested in getting involved with the Student Chapter, please reach out to them. It is very important to have a variety of voices involved seeing as how the environmental sector includes a wide range jobs and interests. If you don’t see your interests represented at Student Chapter events, you would be the perfect person to join and help bring in those mentors in the future.