Back in 2001, She was still learning english Dr. Tatiana Goulko, P.Eng. Senior Mechanical Engineer, Government of Alberta APEGA Board of Examiners—Experience Volunteer
As an internationally trained professional, Tatiana Goulko, P.Eng., PhD, knows all about the challenges newcomers face when they arrive in Canada. In 2001, she moved from Russia to Edmonton to start a new life and career. Along with her husband and two children, they learned English from scratch, while at the same time adapting to a new culture. A well-established mechanical engineering professor in Russia, Dr. Goulko completely switched career paths, transitioning from academia to industry. Her first job in Canada was an internship with a local consulting firm, which soon turned into full-time employment. “The first couple of years, I just tried to integrate into the Canadian workplace, to learn how engineering standards and codes work in Canada,” recalls Dr. Goulko. “I had great support from my coworkers and my boss.” "I can see things from my experience. I can explain the difference between Russian and Canadian engineering. In that way, I contribute my knowledge." She also took another big step shortly after arriving in Canada—applying to APEGA for her engineering licence. While she met most of APEGA’s licensing requirements, she had to return to university to complete an economics course. She clocked in hour upon hour preparing for the National Professional Practice Exam, too, a test that all APEGA applicants must take to confirm their knowledge of professionalism, law, and ethics. “It wasn’t easy for me because of the language barrier, but I never thought about giving up,” says Dr. Goulko. “I knew it had to be done.” Her efforts paid off when she received her P.Eng. designation in 2007.
Fast-forward to 2012.
While visiting APEGA’s website, Dr. Goulko noticed an ad seeking volunteers for the Board of Examiners. She decided to answer the call. Board volunteers are the APEGA members responsible for setting admission standards and reviewing membership applications. They play a key role in protecting the public and serving the public interest by ensuring the individuals licenced by APEGA are qualified to practise engineering and geoscience in Alberta. Dr. Goulko’s diverse professional experience—both in Russia and in Canada—brings a unique perspective and voice to the board table. "I can see things from my experience. I can explain the difference between Russian and Canadian engineering. In that way, I contribute my knowledge." She plans to volunteer with the board for many more years to come. “I just love volunteering for APEGA. It’s very rewarding to know my work is helping keep the public safe, through the licensing of competent professionals,” says Dr. Goulko. She also enjoys working with other experienced and talented professionals who share the same technical interests, while at the same time having the opportunity to give back to her profession. “This is one way I can contribute my knowledge and experience, to grow the engineering profession for future generations. That is very important for me.”
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