Erin Olauson never thought she’d be doing the job she’s doing now when she was growing up. Born and raised in Saskatoon, SK, she thought she was going to be a geologist but ended up in engineering. In one of her first jobs, she spent two years drilling and test pitting almost every day. She was immersed in it and the idea of figuring out what you can do with the dirt. Her love for what she does grew from there.
Erin’s career took her to Vancouver for a number of years and then she moved to Calgary, where she’s lived for over 10 years. She cites one of the reasons she joined BGC was to work with some of the experts in her field that are part of our team. She’ll tell you, half jokingly, that she has never worked at a place where people are so happy to be at work.
How long have you been with BGC and what do you do here?
I joined in the fall of 2015 and having been working in the Mining sector, and for the past several years on the design and construction of an oil sands tailing facility.
How would you describe your job to a class of Kindergartners?
Early on in my career I was trying to explain to my five-year-old nephew what I do for work. After I finished this long explanation, trying to simplify it as much as possible, he looked at me and said, “you’re a digger”. So yes, I’m a digger.
What is your favourite thing about working at BGC?
We have such open communication here at BGC. By that I mean it doesn’t matter what level you are, what you do, if you’re located in another office or another country, everyone is willing to help you. Even if you haven’t had the chance to work with the person or even interact with them before, everyone is willing to share their expertise.
What is the one piece of advice you’d give to new hires at BGC?
Pick up the phone. Of course, we don’t really pick up phones anymore, but as I mentioned above, it’s so open here so if you need help, send someone a quick note or ask to grab a coffee. And this can be anything, a technical question or looking for mentorship or advice. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
If you could switch jobs with someone in BGC, who would it be and why?
I’ve only had the opportunity to work in the Mining sector. But when we were able to be in the office together (pre-COVID), I’d often hear colleagues who work in the Pipeline sector share field stories. They always start off sounding like it’s so miserable, they’re trudging through mud and swamps and there are mosquitos everywhere, but they’re always telling the story with a smile on their faces and saying how much fun they had hiking around with their field partner all day. So my answer is a pipeline inspector. Hiking around with my field partner all day sounds like fun despite the mud and mosquitos.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing, what would it be?
Succulent plants. I’ve start collecting plants as a COVID hobby. I love picking these small little succulent plants and watching them grow.
What is the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
Honestly, I’m not adventurous with food at all. If you ask other BGCers in the Calgary office about this, they’ll tell you that when we go to the pub near the office, I order the same thing every time.
What fictional place would you like to visit?
I love Superman comics, so I’d say Metropolis. I would go hang out by a phonebooth to see if I can meet Superman.
If you had to listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
50 Mission Cap by the Tragically Hip
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Set expectations. Set expectations for yourself so you can hopefully meet your own goals. And set expectations for others. How can you possibly expect someone to deliver a product when you haven’t told them what you want?