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Civil 3D CADD Designer

Peter Cromarty

Father and son


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Provide a brief general introduction about yourself.


My name is Peter Cromarty-Chapman, I’m currently 23 years old, and a father of one. I lived in Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (Big Trout Lake) until the age of 16 at which time I moved to Thunder Bay for Grade 12. I attended Sir Winston Churchill and graduated High School at the age of 17. I’m employed at Hatch Corporation as a Civil 3D CADD (computer-aided design and drafting) Designer. May of 2018 will be my second year with Hatch. I have three brothers and three sisters.


What does your daily job entail?


My job requires me to use a program called Civil 3D developed by Autodesk. I’ve worked on a variety of different tasks such as processing surveys, designing roadways, assisting in the design of a subdivision, creating record drawings of what was built after design and construction, preparing contract drawings for the construction of a highway,


What got you interested in your chosen career?


I had an interest in assembling and disassembling things when I was younger. In my early teens, I learned about the field of Civil Engineering. Depending on what Civil Engineers specialize in, they can design infrastructures such as buildings, bridges, roads, and subdivisions. With that knowledge, I chose to go into Civil Engineering Technology at Confederation College. Initially, I didn’t know which types of jobs were available. However, the program gave us an idea of what types of jobs we could go into with the Civil Engineering Technology diploma. I was interested in a lot of topics, but the use of Civil 3D caught my interest the most.


What has motivated you?


I’ve always had an interest in attending school. I believe it was my mother who encouraged me to pursue my education. Eventually, I gained additional motivation through teachers and adults who believed I could do very well with my education. I chose to accept their encouraging words. Gradually my motivation became self-sustained by the goals I set for myself.


Is there anyone in particular who has inspired you?


My sister Miranda inspired me throughout the elementary and high school to continue my education like she did.


How did you get to where you are today?


I attended High School in my reserve until Grade 11. As many are aware, there’s a major gap between what someone learns in the city versus the reserve. So I faced a disadvantage when I transitioned to Grade 12 in the city. Additionally, I had to move away from home. However, I managed to maintain good grades. Afterwards, I attended and completed Pre-Trades Technology at Cambrian College. Next, I attended and completed Civil Engineering Technology at Confederation College.


How do you keep developing your skills in your career?


A lot of what I learn comes from on the job experience. There’s still a lot I have left to learn, but I anticipate when I’m assigned new tasks I’ll have the skills necessary to get the job done. My field is constantly evolving. Therefore the way I do my job keeps evolving as well. The software Civil 3D regularly receives updates and enhanced capabilities. Also, because it’s an Autodesk product, there are plenty of additional software that can be used with Civil 3D. So I’m often putting my own time into learning the new software and capabilities.​


Many Paths


What are some things you like about your career?


In my field jobs don’t come with the same sets of problems each time. So it requires problem-solving and critical thinking. I also like that it’s an office job. Personally, I enjoy being inside and working in front of a computer.


Outside of work, what kind of things do you do to take care of yourself?


As a father, I don’t have much free time available. So I typically spend a lot of quality time with my family. When I get the chance, I’ll enjoy a movie at the theatre or go out for dinner with my partner.


What financial opportunities did you use and what was the process?


Yes, I was funded by NNEC (Northern Nishnawbe Education Council) for my Grade 12 High School and four years of College. The process wasn’t difficult to receive funding. I needed to fill out a form, provide proof I completed high school, and get a letter of support from my reserve. I also received an award from Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation called the Derrick Kamanga Memorial Award worth $2,000.


What do you still hope to achieve?


Eventually, I want to go to University. I’d like to attend the Civil Engineering program at Lakehead University. It’s a four year program, but I might be able to bridge into the third year. Afterwards, I may pursue my PhD in Civil Engineering. After the completion of my education, I hope to become a professional engineer.


What would you like to share with the youth reading this?


Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your flaws. Your flaws indicate aspects of yourself that could use improvement. By improving these aspects of yourself, you have the potential of becoming a well-rounded person. Also, don’t be afraid of failure because sometimes failure is inevitable. Take advantage of your failures by learning what you did wrong and changing things for next time. In other words, learn from your mistakes.

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