Ask GSJ – Jenna
Jenna lives and works in Greater Saint John
Jenna is General Manager of Irving Wallboard, representing Greater Saint John’s Logistics and Manufacturing sector.
“Here I have the perfect mix of opportunity, family, and lifestyle.”
Greater Saint John is attracting people like Jenna who could work anywhere in the world; yet, they choose to live here because of our region’s excellent combination of professional and personal appeal.
We want to show you what it’s like to live and work in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Questions and Answers with Jenna
Where are you from?
- I am originally from Truro, NS.
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
- I graduated in 2011 from Dalhousie University with a degree in Chemical Engineering. In October of 2018, I graduated with an EMBA from Western University along with 30 other JDI employees.
When did you move to Saint John? Was it for your present job?
- My first work term in Saint John was in 2009. I worked as a student labourer at Irving Paper for three summers total before being offered a full time process engineer position when I graduated in 2011. In 2013, I moved to a Machine Specialist role at Irving Tissue. In 2017, I became the General Manager of Irving Wallboard.
Can you please provide a brief overview of your job?
- I currently lead a team of about 100 employees. We are responsible for making every kind of wallboard product (regular wallboard, fire and mold resistant products, glass mat, etc.) at the highest quality for our customer. We make enough wallboard at our facility in Saint John for 35,000 homes per year.
What’s the best thing about your job?
- The people that I get to work with, no question. Their dedication, effort and attitude make this job what it is.
Why do you choose to live and work in Saint John?
- Saint John is a city that has a great mix of industrial opportunities (for someone who is a chemical engineer, that’s important) while still being close to my family in Nova Scotia. I was one of only a few engineers who didn’t go out west from my graduating class of 40+ students and I truly believe that decision has paid off in dividends for me. I work for an organization that truly values being a part of this city and that is large enough to give me tons of opportunity while also being small enough to have been able to accelerate my career in a very exciting way. I get to see my family dozens of times a year and can always make it home when I need to. Just as importantly, this city has become home for me. There is a fantastic mix of “city life” and “the outdoors” – being close to the ocean is a must for me!
What is the best thing about this city?
- This city is constantly changing. I can honestly say that this is not the same place that I came to for a work term in 2009. It is constantly reinventing itself and the growth and change over the past few years especially is really exciting!
What is your favourite restaurant?
- Pomodori and Thandi have to be the top two.
What is your favourite weekend activity?
- I love taking my 4 year old Springer Spaniel on walks and hikes in and around Saint John.
What is something that people from away need to know about Saint John?
- If you haven’t been to Saint John in the past few years, you don’t know what you are missing out on. There are some great companies in this city, both new and old, that are able to provide great career opportunities while staying in the Maritimes. Mix that with so much to do outdoors, truly great restaurants and some of the amazing people I have gotten to know over the years, they won’t be disappointed!
Want more information about what it’s like to live and work in Greater Saint John? Ask Jenna