• Lee-Anne Leslie

    Expanding Her Credentials

    Portrait of Lee Lee-Anne.
    Lee-Anne Leslie
    Construction Project Management Certificate Graduate, Construction Estimating Certificate Graduate

    Construction estimator grows professionally through George Brown certificates

    Lee‑Anne Leslie has built up her construction management career one George Brown College course at a time. Through Continuing Education, Lee‑Anne earned her Construction Project Management Certificate in 2016 and her Construction Estimating Certificate in 2017, gaining valuable knowledge and skills through courses ranging from contract administration to job scheduling. Her courses are achievements marking the path towards her ultimate professional goal: Professional Quantity Surveyor (PQS) certification from the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors.

    After completing a university-level interior design degree, Lee‑Anne did a post-graduate program in Design Management at George Brown. Her positive time at the college made it a perfect fit for her professional development goals – especially with the range of PQS courses offered by Continuing Education. “When going through my PQS educational requirements, I saw that George Brown had the most required courses. Since I had such a great experience there previously, I signed up immediately.”

    Lee‑Anne’s commitment to her coursework has significantly impacted her current career, where she provides cost estimates for a wide variety of construction projects that range from medical facilities to theatres to residences. She was recently promoted to Senior Estimator, On-screen Takeoff Specialist, at Vermeulens, a family-run construction-cost consulting firm. “I know that taking the courses strongly encouraged the raise in my status,” she says. “They’ve noticed a dramatic improvement in my work the last few years.”

    Her employer – a firm believer in the value of continued professional development – paid for the George Brown courses Lee‑Anne needed to work towards her national PQS certification. “They believe in their employees, and know by supporting us, we are going to give back to the company,” she notes. She credits the college with offering the flexibility to allow her to fit learning into her busy life. Lee‑Anne was able to take courses while doing a full-time job, evening work as both a yoga instructor and a doula, and regular volunteering.

    “Being able to take a combination of online and classroom courses meant I had great course options and availability,” Lee‑Anne explains, noting she typically took one to three courses per semester. She took her in-class courses on weekends while setting her own hours for her online courses. “I’m a very self-motivated individual, so being able to follow my own schedule for the online courses was perfect. I could work around my jobs, and then log on at 10 or 11 p.m. to do my homework for an hour or two.”

    She also found online education straightforward and efficient. “I knew I would be getting all the pre-course materials and instructions, and was able to log on easily,” she remembers. “Accessing the online course content was simple, and you could submit your projects smoothly.”

    “One of the beauties of George Brown is that it is accessible to everybody, and you have so many people in the classroom from different walks of life. As a result, it’s a great opportunity to interact. At the same time, when you are able to do online courses, you are able to balance your learning and your lifestyle.”

    Despite being a 10-year construction industry veteran, Lee‑Anne gained a whole new appreciation for her field through her courses. “There are a lot of very practical skills you can learn,” she says, noting that her teachers typically worked in the industry. “Rather than teaching straight from the textbook, they would expand and elaborate and offer real-life stories.”

    She also learned from the varied backgrounds and experiences of her fellow George Brown students. Some, like Lee‑Anne, were seeking to improve their skills in their current jobs; others were international students looking to upgrade their Canadian academic credentials, or young people enrolled in their first post-secondary education courses.

    “One of the beauties of George Brown is that it is accessible to everybody, and you have so many people in the classroom from different walks of life,” Lee‑Anne says. “As a result, it’s a great opportunity to interact. At the same time, when you are able to do online courses, you are able to balance your learning and your lifestyle.”