Fool in the Rain

We moved to Newfoundland from Nova Scotia to join team Vigilant 3 years ago on April 1st. The driving conditions were terrible but we were optimistic. I was nervous moving to a new province that I had only visited once a decade before.  It was a life changing journey that I embarked on with my future wife and pug Roland, both of which had never been to the island. Our families thought we were fools for leaving our home province for Newfoundland, especially since we gave them very little notice. The decision to move to Newfoundland was a quick one, after accepting the position at Vigilant. Within a month my partner and I packed up all of our belongings and moved into an apartment that we had only seen online. As you can imagine, this was a big shock to our friends and family.

This pivotal moment in my life was not lightly taken. I had several video interviews with the team and I felt that my personal goals aligned perfectly with Vigilant’s vision and culture.  The great thing about video interviews is that you can relax at your own house and are only required to have interview attire from the waist up. This allowed me to be comfortable and let my personality shine through.

I love nature and being outside and have absolutely fallen in love with Newfoundland’s scenery, in particular the breath taking East Coast Trail. I try to spend as much time as possible on the trail, often by hiking or Trail Running (fast hiking). Through my hobby of running I’ve learned to look at construction projects as though they are a marathon. A marathon is much more than the time you put up at the end of the race (or date of occupation of the building); it is also the months of training in preparation of the race (pre-design and design phase). What some people don’t realize is that the actual marathon is the easiest part in comparison to the training. Much like a construction project, the more effort that you put into your preparation, the better the race and end result.

The construction phase I visualize as the race. You have to stick to your race plan (drawings & specifications), run at your desired pace (the project schedule), and you have to be able to adjust to unexpected situations as they arise - such as a leg cramp or a surprise discovered within a wall during a renovation.

Vigilant has been with me the whole way and continues to provide the support needed to continue along my path.  They have provided funding and time for me to pursue my educational goals and have encouraged me to complete an MBA . I have grown a lot throughout my time with Vigilant and have accomplished many personal and professional goals including getting my P.Eng and PQS designations, being a project lead on a $4M project, completing an ultra trail marathon, buying a house, and getting married!

My wife and I are very happy that we decided to take the leap three years ago and move to the island, we certainly weren’t April Fools.

-Mark