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I'd always loved math, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for a career. My counsellor at Northern College suggested the Instrumentation Program at the Haileybury School of Mines since it offered a greater variety of careers to choose from, with the potential for higher earning power compared to the other courses I first considered. She also said that as a woman, I would have an advantage working in a traditionally male profession.

After graduation from the Instrumentation Engineering Technicians program at Northern College, I applied for, and got a temporary position with, the Power Workers’ Union as a Control Technician with OPG. I continued to apply for full-time positions externally at www.mypowercareer.com because my experience at Darlington positively emphasized the career choice I had made.

At the beginning of an average day, our supervisor briefs my co- workers and me on any events concerning safety of the plant or personnel from the previous day and then assigns jobs. Typically, my partner and I would begin gathering and verifying documents like electrical diagrams and flowsheets that are essential to the day's task.

After we gather the tools we need for the day's job, the supervisor does a ‘pre-job’ brief. We identify and discuss any hazards that might be encountered during the task, the work necessary needed to do the job safely and correctly, as well as "back-out conditions" that would cause us to stop the job. After performing the work, we enter reports into a computer program and discuss any difficulties encountered during a "post-job brief."

OPG is seriously committed to safety and everyone's health and wellbeing. It is reassuring to know safety is the number one priority for the company you work for. In the time ahead, I will rotate through a variety of different work groups and gain experience with different systems and equipment. I'll also be able to attend scheduled training sessions that will assist me in preparing for the apprenticeship examination, as well as becoming a fully qualified Control Technician.

What’s the best part about my job? The experienced Control Technicians I get to work with and the variety of tasks I do on a daily basis. I work with some of the most intelligent, skillful, knowledgeable tradespeople who go out of their way to educate me. Because of their expertise, I will also have the opportunity to learn more about my chosen career.

Tracy
Second-year Control Technician Apprentice
Ontario Power Generation