Samantha Creme is currently a Senior Associate and works in the London, United Kingdom office. Samantha joined Stroud in January 2015 after graduating from Queen’s University with a degree in Civil Engineering.
What does your typical day look like?
For me, an exciting aspect of the work we do is that the days look pretty different on each site, and will depend on the schedule that works best for the team. On my last site, I would start off by aligning on the day’s priorities with the head of the department before our daily team meeting. In these meetings, we would review the actions from the previous day, discuss the progress made, and determine the next steps for each of the team members. Throughout the project, the rest of the day would be filled with a wide range of activities – from working with a team member to solve a specific problem, to facilitating a training session, to directly observing a specific aspect of the process, or reviewing the results of a new trial with site leadership. There isn’t really a ‘typical’ day on site – though the one thing that is constant is that every day involves learning something new!
What is the favourite part of your day? Your week?
My favourite moments are when I see a change in what others believe is possible and how they talk about opportunities to improve. I’ve seen this start to happen after we’ve uncovered some unexpected facts, broken through a constraint that was holding the team back from making progress, found a way to implement a solution, or received the results of a successful trial. Then, in team meetings, the team member who used to talk about all the reasons we wouldn’t be able to make something work, instead starts talking about what it would take to make it happen. I think this type of change in a person’s attitude towards improvement is one of the really impactful outcomes of the bottom-line results that we drive.
What has been the best part about your work at Stroud?
How hands on and varied the work we do is. We’re not writing reports or making recommendations, we’re working with a team of people from the company to implement changes that will have a direct impact on a key metric. So at the end of a team, you’re able to clearly measure the results. And because we work in so many different industries, no two projects are ever the same. While my first project was in a manufacturing plant, my second one was in an underground mine. I’ve therefore already had such unique opportunities to understand two very different businesses, and have worked with people at all levels of the organization (from operators and miners, to engineers and managers, to senior leadership and directors). And it’s only been a year!
What were you surprised by in your first few months of work?
How quick the rate of personal and professional development is. I probably learned more technical and interpersonal skills in my first few months at Stroud than I ever have before. I think a main reason for this is that everyone genuinely wants you to succeed, so you receive a whole lot of feedback on everything you do – on what’s going well and what the areas for improvement are. Then you’re really supported by your coach and line manager to work on those development areas. And this doesn’t just happen during formal review times. What was even more surprising to me, is that this kind of feedback is also encouraged in the other direction, so right from the beginning other Stroudies were open to what I had to say, and wanted to get feedback from me as well.
What types of things do you do outside of work?
I’ve always really loved travelling – experiencing new cultures, trying different foods, meeting interesting people – so since moving to London last year, I’ve been able to get my fix of adventure right from my own city. I’ve been to see comedy shows and musicals, visited art and history museums, hiked along the coast and ran through parks in London, and have tried lots of tasty dishes. I also think I’m still a kid at heart, so I’ll never say no to a game of cards or a board game. This year, I’m really excited to have two ski trips planned to the Alps – growing up in Quebec, I used to ski every weekend, so am keen to get back on the slopes!