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Penny Norman

Hometown: Griquet
Company: Husky Energy

“What I enjoy the most is the professional working environment. I work with teams of highly specialized individuals who are all quite unique in personalities and backgrounds. I’ve gotten to know some really great people who are very hard workers but still know how to have fun and make the workplace enjoyable. I also like to work on projects. Most projects only last a few months or a few years, so after just a short while, there’s always something new and different to look forward to. I also love to travel and I take every advantage of opportunities my work has for me to travel.”


Penny has a Bachelor of Engineering degree and a Masters of Oil and Gas Studies degree from Memorial University. She was involved in many extra-curricular youth activities, but says that her involvement in student council and yearbook club probably helped her most with her future career. She was also a member of a local girls club which provided her with valuable skills. In school, Penny enjoyed math and science, both of which form a large part of the engineering curriculum. She also enjoyed arts and crafts. “I was always very curious about how things worked and loved to create things and build things.” She says her high school math and science courses were most applicable to her post-secondary studies.


Penny usually works 40 hours a week, but sometimes works extra to meet deadlines. As a salary-based professional engineer, she does not receive overtime pay, but Penny’s employer does provide her with extra hours off on request. She lives close to her place of work and commutes 20-30 minutes, except when she travels offshore (a 1.5-hour helicopter ride). Penny’s work also involves some travel and has taken her to Calgary, Houston, Aberdeen and London.

Penny normally works in an office environment, with some time spent offshore. She is responsible for ensuring that the people and materials needed for a project are coordinated and organized to ensure the project goes as planned, stays on schedule and within budget. She prepares reports and presentations on specific projects and attends meetings with project teams to get updates and make decisions on the next steps to take. She occasionally works offshore on a production facility to collect information about a project. In order to work offshore, she had to pass a medical examination and complete a basic survival training course which can be physically demanding. When spending time outside on a production platform, Penny must be aware of hazards such as noise, chemicals and high voltage electricity. She is also required to wear personal protection equipment.

Penny’s career began with a series of six work-terms (a total of two years junior engineering experience) through the cooperative engineering program at Memorial University. Since graduating she has held a number of different roles, each with an increasing level of responsibility. She would eventually like to move into a senior management position and also have the opportunity to work internationally.

Compensation and Benefits

Salaries in Penny’s field range from $75,000-140,000 annually, depending on job responsibility, individual experience and job performance. Her company provides health insurance, RRSP and pension contributions, as well as performance bonuses. Penny’s employer also provides her with ongoing training for job requirements and personal career development.