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From The Brady Bunch to project management: Nicole Jardin’s unexpected path to success

“I think that an engineering background definitely lends itself very well to out-of-the-box thinking.”
September 24, 2018
By Daniel Bartlett

Like many children her age, Nicole Jardin, BEng 90, grew up watching The Brady Bunch on television. The show, which ran from 1969 to 1974, depicted the family life of a father of three boys who marries a woman with three girls.

It’s best remembered for being wildly successful with young people because it often addressed situations children could easily understand, including sibling rivalries and character building.

Nicole Jardin, BEng 90 Nicole Jardin says what she enjoyed most at Concordia was the nice synergy among the small group of students in the building engineering program.

So when the time came for Jardin to apply to university years later, she decided to specialize in a discipline she thought most resembled her childhood dream job. “I applied to Concordia primarily because I saw building engineering as the closest thing to architecture,” she says. “That’s really what got me into that career path.”

While at Concordia, Jardin realized she was much less interested in the design aspects of engineering than she was in construction and building. She sometimes struggled and admits that it was only after taking a class with Osama Moselhi, PhD 78, professor in the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, that she finally found her calling. “In the fourth year — which is when we had Dr. Moselhi — we were doing project management, and that’s when I realized that was more my speed,” Jardin says.

She remembers doing very well in Moselhi’s course and developing a rapport with the professor. The relationship eventually led him to hire Jardin for the summer after her graduation and recommending her to individuals he knew in the industry.

Moselhi’s praise eventually landed Jardin her first position working as a claims consultant. “He got me in touch with Revay and Associates and they hired me,” Jardin recalls. “He helped me find a job, which was wonderful.”

Innovative project management solutions

Today, Jardin is CEO of Calgary-based Emerald Associates, a company she founded in 1995. Emerald provides project management solutions to its clients through Oracle Primavera software applications, focusing on product control systems that help plan, schedule, manage and deliver tasks more efficiently.

Jardin’s day-to-day responsibilities include working on design sessions with clients and supporting her customers with what they are already doing with the tools. She is also involved in business development and explains to potential clients how they can take advantage of these technologies to better drive their businesses moving forward. “I think that an engineering background definitely lends itself very well to that out-of-the-box thinking that you need to try and innovate and come up with new ideas,” Jardin says.

With 20 consultants working in Canada, the United States and the Philippines, as well as programmers in other parts of the world, Jardin is pleased her company has helped cultivate the next generation of talent in the industry. She has always loved teaching and credits her own mentors for getting her to where she is today.

“It’s really important to have someone who can help point you in the right direction,” Jardin says. “It’s something we do with our clients, too — it’s a key passion of mine and it’s why Emerald tries to help people do their jobs better.”

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