Lamya Ezzeldin (ChemE 1T5) applies the methodical approach to problem solving she learned while pursuing her Chemical Engineering degree at U of T to her current role in product management at startup GoBolt, a sustainable, tech-forward fulfillment and last mile delivery logistics provider. After graduating from ChemEng and securing a job at Procter & Gamble as a process engineer, Ezzeldin decided to move into the technology sector where she works on solving challenging transportation problems in a fast-paced environment. She helps lead the delivery of a route optimization solution for a fleet of mostly electric vehicles, and in developing a new real-time vehicle tracking product that enables their customers to plan for their deliveries and dispatchers to manage their fleet’s performance. At GoBolt, Ezzeldin is able to utilize the foundations in sustainability and engineering innovation learned at U of T to find sustainable solutions, make smart assumptions, and prioritize and communicate in such a way that enables fast and iterative product development.
1. What motivated you to pursue a career in your current field/industry, and how has your experience been working in this field/industry so far?
Curiosity: While I was working in manufacturing at Procter & Gamble, I became curious about the various digitization and automation initiatives happening in the plant. This led me to participate in these efforts and build my coding and dashboarding skills, in order to automate and simplify several manual workflows that my peers and I were dealing with. I had developed a passion and a knack for designing, building and delivering digital tools that solve real-world problems, which fits the description of product management to a tee. It was through iteration and trying several types of roles that I eventually chose product management to be my craft. Working in Transportation and Last-Mile Logistics during the pandemic and after, there has been no shortage of complex problems to solve. I find that the methodical, process-driven approach to complex issues, which was largely fostered by my UofT Chem Eng background, has been key to helping me figure out the best ways to solve them with time, budget and resource constraints. Product Management is also an ever-evolving field, so it has been important to continue learning about industry trends and best practices through books, podcasts and courses.
2. What skills or qualifications do you believe are crucial for success as a chemical engineer in your industry, and how did your education at ChemE contribute to your development in these areas?
– The methodical approach to problems that you learn through ChemE is a superpower. It will help you prioritize problems, assess minimum requirements for a new product, and iterate on existing products.
– Listening and communication skills: The ability to fully grasp what a client may be asking for, consider the human factors and asking the right questions to identify objectives and constraints, then being able to communicate with and consider stakeholders appropriately is also important in a Product Management Role.
– These skills are extremely transferable to any industry or career you choose.
3. Can you share some insights into the industry or field your company operates in and the opportunities it offers to potential candidates?
Smaller companies can be a great place to build a broad range of experience early on in your career. Having worked at a Fortune 500 company and a startup, I gained in-depth knowledge about the systems and particulars of my role at Procter & Gamble, but working at a startup, you have a broader scope of responsibility and learn a lot by doing and pivoting your approach as needed.
4. How do you stay connected with the ChemE community as an alum, and are there any opportunities for current students or recent graduates to engage with your company? This would be a good spot to talk about the job opportunities.
– Hoping to stay involved through ChemE events, now that I’m back in Toronto, as well as through YNCN and the Engineering Alumni Mentorship Program
– Follow GoBolt on LinkedIn and check our careers page for new openings. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn as well!
5. What advice would you give to current students or recent graduates who are starting their careers?
– Follow your curiosities, especially early on in your career. Take on roles and projects which might expand your horizons before choosing to specialize.
– Plan for continued learning. Join early-career networks, take additional courses and attend events in fields that interest you. (I like to do that in sprints: spend 1-2 weeks attending events/courses/meetups etc. and 1-2 weeks reflecting on what I’ve learned and applying the learnings).
– Build on your strengths and choose a career that suits them. There is no need to hyper-fixate on your weaknesses.