Leadership at Every Level: Structural Designer Victoria Sypher
Entuitive’s relentless pursuit of being better tomorrow than we were today manifests throughout our high-caliber, talented team.
We spoke with Structural Designer Victoria Sypher, who recently achieved her P.Eng and is close to celebrating her 5-year anniversary at Entuitive. Victoria is part of Entuitive’s Residential Group, where she has experienced strong career growth and drives herself to take on challenging projects while remaining a valuable team player.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today, Victoria. Can you tell us more about your career at Entuitive?
I first joined Entuitive in September of 2017 as a co-op student. I was finishing my final co-op term for my undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering at the University of Waterloo. I remember being so excited to be part of Entuitive’s Residential Group, if only for four months. I learned a lot early on and was thrilled when they offered me a role as a full-time Junior Designer after graduation.
I’m an Intermediate Engineer now, and it’s been great to see the growth of our Residential Group over the years along with the development of my own career. I’m always pushing my leader Robin Djuita to give me more challenging and complex work so that I can continue to grow and help the team be the best it can be. I have to put in the work and demonstrate results in order to earn that right to ask. And he’s been a great mentor and supporter along the way.
That’s great to hear you’ve been pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. What are some of the responsibilities and tasks you’re undertaking?
I now work on all of the design stages of our projects, starting from the proposals and the bidding stage to providing support to our Contract Administration (CA) team in the construction stage. I dig into the details to understand the complexity of the design, work through conflicts between design principles and client needs, and tap Entuitive’s breadth of experience and my own exposure to multiple projects, allowing me to more independently provide efficient solutions for our clients. Residential projects are quite fast-paced and always budget conscious, which pushes me to find any and all efficiencies possible in my design.
I’ve also been grateful that my leaders are very receptive to what I want to learn or where I want to expand my experience. For instance, when I wanted more client-facing responsibility, my leaders were willing to send me to client meetings on my own. Initially, it was quite daunting to be in those meetings, but now I’m very comfortable speaking to clients and supporting the coordination of diverse projects.
Which projects have been memorable in your career so far?
I started working on Daniels’ Erin Mills community when I first joined Entuitive, which consists of three massive towers in Mississauga. One of the towers will be a retirement residence. This project is memorable as it’s one of the first projects that I’ve been part of for the full design stage. Most of our projects take several years from initial design discussions to construction. So, it will be exciting to see it all come together now.
It’s been interesting to see the number of changes that occur within the design, some as simple as last-minute coordination changes, and others more complex such as adding more storeys. The changes can be challenging when we have to make modifications to the towers while the building is under construction. I have learned the importance of building strong relationships with our clients and contractors to ensure we’re communicating and collaborating well with each other.
I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the completed structures. We should be finishing the structural components next year, while the entire project will most likely be completed in another couple of years since the interior finishing will take longer.
That must be fascinating to see your hard work finally going into construction. It must also be rewarding to reflect on how you’ve been with Entuitive’s Residential Group for almost five years.
Time flies! And yes, it has been rewarding to see the growth and success of our Residential Group. We’re just getting better and better as a group as we continue to deliver projects more seamlessly. I would also like to give a shoutout to Robin and Scott D’Lima, who are a big part of why I enjoy coming to work every day! We are better together; having a great team and solid support system really makes a big difference.
What are you hoping to achieve further in your career at Entuitive?
I hope to work toward a role in project management and am also interested in the finance side of our projects. I’m open to trying new things since I was always taught to keep the doors open and accept the opportunities presented to you.
I’ve also been passionate about mentoring our junior engineers and co-op students. I was once in their shoes. I’m working toward developing more training programs for them. I always encourage them to ask me questions, so that we can work through solutions together and figure out what they want to experience or learn. It’s a team effort, every day.
Thank you so much for chatting with us, Victoria, and for leading by example when it comes to being better tomorrow than we were today. If you would like to reach out to Victoria, you can do so here.