Maude-Élaine Levert Martin
Building and Environment Inspector
Municipality of Blue Sea in Blue Sea, Quebec
Before she even graduated from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi in Geography and Development, Maude-Élaine Levert Martin was working on real-world projects at her local Regional County Municipality (RCM). Since then, she has served as an inspector for various municipalities before moving to the Outaouais region and securing a position at the City of Gracefield. In that role, Levert Martin served as the director of urban planning and environment, offering her the opportunity to do a lot of mapping using geomatics software, and working on laws that affect environmental quality and planning. She is currently working as the building and environment inspector for the Municipality of Blue Sea, where she issues permits and certificates that regulate urban planning. Levert Martin also performs field inspections on a regular basis.
1. After graduating from university, did your first job meet your expectations?
The RCM of Le Fjord-du-Saguenay hired me as an assistant building inspector thanks in part to the technical program I did in Urban Planning at the Cégep de Jonquière. My undergraduate degree in Geography and Sustainable Development touched on urban planning as well, so it really aligned with my career objectives. Thinking back on it now, that position was the perfect way to get started in my field.
2. If you had to do it all over again, what kinds of support would you have liked to receive?
Had I not been offered my position at the RCM, I would have appreciated more help on how to find job postings throughout the province of Quebec. Coming out of university, you do not always know where to look for jobs or how, so that type of service would have been really valuable.
3. In what ways did your programs prepare you for your career?
I feel much more at ease analyzing and interpreting files, as well as drafting reports. While working in the field, it is much easier for me to understand the natural elements we will be working with, particularly streams and various tree species. A lot of this is related to geomorphology and ecology, both of which help a lot.
4. Do you have any advice for students wishing to attain a fulfilling career in geography?
For anyone who is interested in a career in urban planning and environment, I highly recommend doing a technical program at the CEGEP or college level before pursuing your undergraduate studies because the programs really complement each other. Many of my colleagues I spoke to while completing my bachelor’s degree said they regretted not doing the technical program first.