IAP2 Wild Rose Chapter continues to shine a light on the incredible P2 professionals who shape our community of practice in Alberta. These spotlights help members get to know each other and help chart a path for other engagement professionals considering further growth, such as a CP3 designation. This month, it is an honour to learn more about Amanda Kaiser, past president of IAP2 Wild Rose and a CP3 with almost two decades of experience in engagement.
What do you value about being a Wild Rose member?
I value belonging to a network of engagement experts that I enjoy connecting with and learning together through our Wild Rose activities and training sessions.
Can you share the story of your career path that led to your present position?
From an early age, I enjoyed communicating and connecting with people, as well as writing. It seemed a natural fit to pursue an education in Journalism and Communications. After completing my post-secondary education, I joined ISL Engineering and Land Services as a Communications Assistant. I almost didn't apply for the job because I thought I lacked the knowledge and experience in engineering that they required. However, I'm glad I ignored that doubt and applied anyway because I ended up getting the position and have been with ISL for over 17 years.
What do you enjoy most about your current position?
I love the variety of projects and people in my role. I have a wonderful team of engagement practitioners who bring so many great experiences, skills, and new ideas to the work we do. I also enjoy working with a variety of clients and technical experts to plan and implement engagement activities to build understanding, gather feedback and encourage involvement from people with different experiences and perspectives.
Why did you decide to apply to become a CP3?
I applied to become a CP3 to demonstrate to myself, colleagues, and clients that I have the qualifications, skills, and experience in public participation to design and implement engagement programs for any project or situation. I felt that certification would help demonstrate my credibility in the public participation field and open up more opportunities for projects with existing and new clients. I also wanted to gain my certification to demonstrate my willingness to invest in my own development, my commitment to the public participation field, and the importance of certification for the profession.
Why did you choose to volunteer with Wild Rose?
At ISL, as part of our own development, we are encouraged to become involved in professional organizations. My boss at the time suggested volunteering with Wild Rose to connect more with other engagement professionals. I participated in planning professional development events, which was also a way to help support the Wild Rose and gain some new experiences and skills. I was new to public participation in my career and being a part of Wild Rose really helped me learn, grow, and connect with others in the industry. Later, I joined the Wild Rose Board and volunteered on several committees. I also volunteer as a mentor with IAP2 Canada.
What advice would you give to someone starting in the field of engagement?
I advise someone starting in engagement to be brave and try and learn new things. I have learned a lot in my career by being brave, learning to ask questions, trying something new, and being open to learning new things. This allowed me to continue to improve my knowledge, skills, and experience. Sometimes, it can be hard to push yourself a little beyond your comfort zone or not get the desired result when you try something new, but that's where the best learnings and experiences can happen.
Do you know someone in the field of public participation who you think should be our next member in the spotlight? Email your suggestions to email@example.com