Busy Spring

Spring 2014

Miguel Gagnon

Schulich Leader at

I realize that every project falls behind one of the following categories : what you want to do, what you can do and what you do. In two semesters at Polytechnique, every category gets more and more importance as my involvment increases.

I discovered aerospace and aeronautics like never before by attending to talks by industry engineers and visiting the Laval Cosmodome. I faced applied problems in Projet Initial and scientific challenges in Mathematics and Materials Resistance classes. I partnered with people from everywhere and with very different backgrounds for intra and extra-curricular activities. I built high-power rockets from the 3D modeling to the painting and going through composite materials manufacture to assembly. I started to learn japanese on my own. These are the highlights from my last semester.

A tough one it was, but rewarding that's for sure. And these have made me even more eager to learn and make. I also found out that to lead a team, the fabrication of a rocket in my case, you need a lot of organization and a good sense of responsibility. Communication skills are also important. I had a course during my first semester on communication and leadership, but the experience I got from 6 months of coordonating a team of 15 people has taught me a lot more.

For the rest of the summer and the beginning of my second year, I plan to keep on with learning japanese, read as much as I can before going back to textbooks in september. I am also participating in research activities this summer as I got a NSERC bursary and I would recommend to everybody, if they have the chance, to try out the atmosphere of graduate studies. I enjoy the autonomy and freedom it gives me and it is a good way to discover new interests and start thinking about graduate studies.

I think I have never been so busy. But I love it and I think that is what being a Leader is.