Meet Allana Spooner, P.Eng., CAPM – a Project Manager at Binnie, who has been with us for almost three years! Allana works from various construction sites and client offices, which gives her many opportunities to connect with people and her Binnie coworkers.
As an Owner’s Representative for several different clients, Allana manages client projects on their behalf from inception through closeout, including all scopes, schedules, and budgets in between. Being a Project Manager means that every day is different, which “can be hectic, but never boring,” according to Allana.
Today, she wants to offer her fresh, honest perspective about her career journey. She mentions that she struggled through engineering at University with grades, mental health, and physical health. It took her five years to come out on the other side, thinking that the hard part was over, only to never hear back after applying for 500+ entry-level jobs.
With no co-op experience, Allana thought she would be a lifeguard forever. Even once she found a job, the challenging new environment was harder to navigate due to being looked down upon as a young woman in construction. After realizing that design was not for her and that the field engineering life was quickly burning her out, Allana found her way to Binnie, where she found her home in project management. Lucky for us, she plans to stick around!
Allana is an example to other young women in the industry, especially students and new graduates who may be struggling, just like she did. She says her success comes mainly from her strength to keep pushing despite the challenges she has encountered. Allana has relentlessly fought against industry stereotypes and stood up for herself at every opportunity to be a voice for young women in engineering.
When it comes to hobbies, Allana takes full advantage of living in North Vancouver and loves swimming, snowboarding, paddleboarding, Grouse Grind-ing, and generally being active and outdoors. When indoors, she can be found devouring any sci-fi or fantasy book she can get her hands on.
Allana’s motto is to be relentless and resilient, and she participates in RISE activities and Young Professionals (YP) activities whenever she can. She also loves representing Binnie at all the career fairs in which the company participates. Allana’s advice to others in similar roles/jobs is that it’s okay not to know all the answers and it is completely normal to have a tough time finding your professional identity. She says to, “always remember the value you bring to the table and know that you deserve to feel comfortable being yourself at work.”
Ultimately, Allana would like to be the mentor to students and young women that she never had the chance to have and to help normalize the workplace struggles that often get swept under the rug. She wants to help destigmatize the mental health struggles that many of us will face throughout our careers by sharing similar experiences like the above.
(Thank you, Allana, for being so transparent with your journey! We also hope this will help anyone else who might encounter the same experiences)