DND Profile: Ashley Campbell
Current role: Control Systems Engineer
Hometown: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Years of Service: 6
Home Unit: Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott
What was the best thing that happened in your life over this past year?
The single best thing that has happened in my life over this past year was getting engaged to my boyfriend of nine years. He has always supported me in both my personal and professional journey, encouraging me along the way to pursue any opportunity that presents itself.
Was there an unexpected obstacle? How was it overcome?
With only six years of service, on a day-to-day basis there are many small obstacles I need to overcome. It can be anything from not knowing all of the government processes, learning about a system I haven’t worked on before, or teaching myself about new technologies that are being implemented. I overcome these obstacles by asking questions, requesting further training, and taking the time to understand the problems at hand.
What is the most enjoyable part of your work?
The most enjoyable part of my work is knowing that I am doing my part to help support the Navy in protecting Canadians.
What was the most challenging part of your work?
The most challenging part of my work would be the variety of personalities I encounter on a daily basis. I have to be able to adapt my approach to certain tasks depending on whom I am dealing with.
What was the biggest thing you learned this past year professionally?
The biggest thing that I learned this past year professionally would be to take any opportunity that presents itself – even if you fail. It’s always worth trying something different, even if it scares you. You can learn something from any experience you have – good or bad.
What would you like to accomplish in 2020?
In 2020, I would like to be able to take on more responsibility professionally and develop my managerial skills through shadowing my current supervisor in his day-to-day role.
How would you describe the availability of opportunities for Women at Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott (FMFCS)?
I would describe the availability of opportunities for Women at FMFCS to be the same as they are for anyone else. Opportunities are what you make of them; you need to be a go getter and be willing to try new things. For example, after working three years in my engineering section I was wanting to gain more experience with project management and supervisory roles. I approached my supervisor and manager about my aspirations and they provided various options for me to gain experience. I was able to spend four months shadowing a ship’s Project Leader and four months acting for another engineering section. This provided me with the experience required to apply for higher level jobs.
What advice would you give new female engineers?
I would advise new female engineers to be self-confident in your skills, don’t be afraid to go after what you want, and do your best – that’s all anyone can ask of you!
What would you say to someone that is considering an engineering career in the RCN?
For someone considering an engineering career in the RCN/DND, I would tell them to go for it! The work is challenging, interesting, and provides you with opportunity to continue learning and travel.
What is the most unique thing about yourself, outside of your job?
The most unique thing about myself is that besides having a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Dalhousie University, I also have a BSc Honours Mathematics/Honours Physics from Saint Mary’s University. I also enjoy staying active, travelling, and spending time with family and friends.