Je-Shae Pace On Intern Experience In Toronto

November 15, 2017

[Written by Je-Shae Pace]

Unlike the other interns, I did not apply to this program initially. While I saw the advertisements and call for applicants, I was a new mother to an 8 month old. For this reason I had convinced myself that it couldn’t work, that it just was not meant for me at this time.

I gained my Bachelor’s in Architecture from the University of Brighton in the UK back in 2014. I had been out of university for almost 3 years, without any real opportunity for work experience on island. Because of this, I was discouraged at the notion of having to pass on what I knew would be a lucrative opportunity.

While working as a sales associate at Joshua Bate Trading Bermuda Ltd., I was contacted by Frank Ross [Executive Director, Infrastructure] & Gordana Terkalas [VP Human Resources], inquiring whether or not I would be interested in taking part in the program. It was totally unexpected.

They told me that they now needed an Architecture Intern, and my name had been referred to them by a mutual acquaintance. Although grateful for their expressed interest, I was still apprehensive about the idea of leaving my son for such long periods of time.

However, with Aecon reaching out to me, I felt that I needed to heavily consider the offer. Long story short, within a span of two weeks or so I had consulted with my family and was given their total support in taking advantage of this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity. I was both excited and anxious about what was to come.

Je-Shae Pace Bermuda Nov 2017 (1)

Upon arriving in Toronto, we were welcomed by Aecon and our mentoring firms and given our intensive schedule. Toronto is a beautiful city. It took very little time or effort for me to adjust to my new surroundings.

We were fortunate enough to be staying a stone’s throw away from the CN Tower in the heart of the entertainment district. Coming from a small island such as Bermuda, the one thing I’ve always welcome wholeheartedly when living or visiting large cities is the diversity. Toronto exemplifies this, being noted as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world.

Where the other interns split their term between two firms, I was partnered with Scott Associate’s Architects Inc. for the entire length of the program. SAAI have designed a many large scale commercial buildings and airports around the world. Their office on Bloor Street was an approximate 20 minute commute from my apartment. Therefore I had the option of walking or taking the subway as I so desired.

Within the first few weeks, we were encouraged to set out an Independent Development Plan to more efficiently plot and communicate our learning objectives to our respective mentors. Under the direction of SAAI, I was able to build new skills and leverage my existing strengths as I tackled the variety of tasks presented.

My duties ranged from drafting of construction drawings to project administration and coordination on Bermuda’s own airport redevelopment project. I spent a substantial amount of time assisting with the development of the interior design package. This particular task also afforded me the privilege of working directly with the principal Architect, Mr. David Scott, on the design development.

Being positioned within a small firm that takes on large scale projects meant that I was able to have a hand in or close contact with many different roles. Admittedly, I did enjoy some roles more than others. However, I came to recognize and appreciate the value in each experience. I embraced the varied nature of the assignments and strived to maximize the potential learning outcomes offered through each.

Je-Shae Pace Bermuda Nov 2017 (2)

There is no question that the constant evolution of my technical ability will serve me throughout my career. However, I can not neglect to mention the developmental workshops facilitated by Aecon each week. Through previous experience, I have come to believe that the value in soft skills is often underrated.

The workshops that I appreciated most were those that were directed towards the enhancement of interpersonal relations, increasing self-awareness and leveraging existing strengths. I believe the benefits of such intuition to be two-fold as it spans across both our professional and personal environments.

I will be forever grateful to Aecon and all contributors to the success of this internship program.

Sometimes the circumstances in which we find ourselves are heavily impacted by timing. This program came along for me at just the right time. Prior to accepting this position, my patience and optimism on my pursuit of “success” began to fizzle.

The conclusion of this internship has illustrated clearly for me the advantages of staying the course, albeit hard at times. I have no doubts that I will finally begin to see the pay off. I think one invaluable lesson I have learned through my progress is that the path that sees you to your goals is not prescribed.

Through all the twists and turns that life may throw your way it is important to remain adaptable and persistent. The wealth of knowledge and exposure that I have gained through this internship well serve me well on my next endeavors.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Educated says:

    So proud of you Shae Shae!! Congratulations!

  2. Paradise Reclaimed says:

    JeShae will be successful in whatever she pursues. Let’s wish her all the best!

  3. Warrior says:

    Warrior Spirit in you. Very proud of you Shae

  4. Honestly says:

    All the best JeShae!

  5. Carmen Tucker says:

    Congratulations Ms. Pace! Welcome to the industry!
    Well done on this accomplishment!

  6. Ms. G says:

    Congratulations family!!❤

  7. Athena says:

    So nice to read about another young Bermudian’s positive internship experience with Aecon’s architectural associate.

    I would hope that all the naysayers and detractors of the new airport project take time to read this. Also. that they will congratulate this young lady on grasping this opportunity to further pursue her career goals.

  8. ALoma M. Foggo says:


  9. Yes I says:

    Well done Shae! The reward was worth the risk and that great attitude will serve you well throughout your life and career.