Up for the Challenge

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Image of young woman standing in a forested area.

Kirsten Murrell had been working in the Alberta oilfields and was looking to return home to Cranbrook and to find a more stable career.  Having completed both her Welding levels C and B at the College, she was anxious to return to take the Advanced Forestry Skills program.

“I did all my welding training at the College and I refused to go elsewhere.  I have always had a great experience at the College and, because it is small, you can get personalized help when you need it.”

In between her Welding training and the Advanced Forestry program at the College, Kirsten also completed Level 1 Welding Inspector training.  She is not exactly following a traditional career path.

Growing up with three brothers, alongside male cousins, and surrounded by very strong women, it never occurred to Kirsten that something might be off-limits to her.  Her family always supported her in anything she wanted to do.  When she got into the welding industry, she had her eyes opened.  Some of her co-workers were not completely receptive to a woman working alongside them.

The negativity she experienced didn’t make her question her path; on the contrary, it pushed her to work even harder.

“I think being in male-dominated trades is an amazing opportunity.  The women who work in these fields tend to be some of the most hard-working people I’ve ever met.  They know that they have to prove themselves with their work – and they’re kicking a** while doing it.  I love being told I can’t because then it becomes a challenge to prove them wrong.”

Having just graduated from the Advanced Forestry Skills program, Kirsten is currently weighing job offers.  We know whatever job she ends up doing, she is going to continue to knock down barriers.  You make us proud, Kirsten.