Dec 16, 2019
Christina Huang is a Senior Contracts Manager for Schneider Electric. She has a varied, technical background, which allows her to excel in her current role with an in-depth knowledge and line-of-sight to multiple aspects of any given project. Previously, Christina worked in IT Consulting for CGI, where she designed and built the Bell.ca website. “After a year, I realized that I had an urge to do something different and out of my comfort zone,” she noted. Christina took a position with Atomic Energy Canada, a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin (now CANDU) as a Commercial and Contract Engineer/Specialist.
“This position was an eye opener for me to acquire commercial, legal and technical knowledge. As the nuclear industry is a highly specialized industry, I added to my knowledgebase by doing a Nuclear Technology Graduate Diploma at McMaster University.”
Christina also spent time in Engineering Procurement and Construction, managing client contracts and subcontracts for Hatch and WorleyParsons, working on large mining and oil and gas projects.
“One highlight from this time was the chance to work for the Pueblo Viejo project in the Dominican Republic which immersed me fully in the construction life on site. It was fast paced and dynamic requiring strong teamwork and camaraderie to overcome the hurdles that arose during the project,” Christina explained.
“As we worked and lived together on this remote site, everyone became close friends. Some hurdles for myself included understanding the local working culture, the construction site dynamics and adapting to long 60-hour work weeks. My colleagues were there for me at every step of the way from my arrival as I lived out the manifestation of the phrase ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed.’”
It was her experience working on major projects such as this that led her to her current role with Schneider. One that has come with many successes. Among them Christina noted, “A recent project with North Redwater Refinery Project (NWR), where Schneider Electric was the main electrical partner, brought front the acclaim of an internal Gold Award for Best Project Execution and many accolades from the client.”
Christina noted that contracts management is a new function at Schneider, she explained, “its main goal is to support the success of a project by reviewing, negotiating and finalizing contracts. I also monitor contractual compliance and manage dispute resolution until contracts are completed and closed.”
In the process of integrating this function into the organization, Christina has been facilitating training sessions to share knowledge and experiences across various Schneider’s teams, including, tender, sales, supply chain, and project execution. “It was both rewarding and challenging to share my knowledge and experiences with others, while concurrently learning about the company through other people’s insights and challenges in their respective domains.”
Christina explained her role further this way, “While working on projects can be complex and fast-paced, it does afford the opportunity to experience new challenges, gain new experiences, work in a strong team-based environment, and build long-lasting friendships, all of which are extremely rewarding.” She continued, “for example, during the NWR project, the internal team and the client-side team that worked together for five years, from conception to installation, still keeps regular contact with each other, reminiscing about the project itself or discussing other on-going projects.”
Much like with her experience working in the Dominican Republic, Christina’s experience is defined both technically and personally. Something that highlights the benefit of devolving quality relationships in business. Adding comradery to the work dynamic can ease the pressure of highly demanding projects, improve productivity, as well as collaboration. Ultimately, maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
To give a better idea of the position Christina details an ideal project: “A typical project at Schneider Electric has the company acting as an electrical contractor, designing the system, the procurement source supplying equipment, and installation agent installing it on site. Post completion, the Schneider Electric guarantees total client satisfaction, meaning Schneider Electric provides 24/7 service to ensure customer satisfaction and address any potential issues that may arise.”
Christina notes that Schneider’s approach as a progressive company allows them to be continually successful in this area.
“What makes Schneider Electric distinguishable in the project world is the ability to retain a loyal group of dedicated professionals who are ready to execute on the next project and make it successful. Schneider Electric’s culture is very encouraging of personal growth and work-life balance, making it attractive for strong talent to stay, develop and contribute.”
Being in the position she’s in as a Senior Contracts Manager, as well as someone with a wide range of expertise, Canadian Eelctrical Wholesaler asked Christina to provide some insight into technologies and trends impacting her industry. Her answer was threefold: Firstly, “Industry 4.0 transformation is about having access to data in real-time through the use of Internet of Things (IoT), advanced robotics, and an extensive network of data. This increases accuracy and enables real time decision-making, making it more conducive of meeting customer expectations.
Secondly, “Blockchain in smart contracting and supply chain will make commercial transactions much more efficient and cost effective without going through a third-party financial institution. For Contracts Management, Schneider will be rolling out a cloud-based contract management tool in the near future which may alleviate some of the time-consuming tasks such as the redlining and drafting of contracts.”
Thirdly, “Schneider Electric offers Energy Management programs through the development of customized programs and equipment such as EcoStruxureTM that enable our clients to better manage and reduce energy consumption worldwide. These programs not only target North America or Europe clientele, but also have a global reach with countries like India and China pushing for these advancements.”
One thing that is clear with CEW’s interview with Christina aside from her intelligent industry insight, is the importance of the intangible aspects of professional life. Namely, work-life balance. Not only with respect to life away from work, but with the relationships built through work. Productivity, motivation and ambition are fueled by multiple factors, and overall well-being cannot be ignored in this respect.
CEW’s interview with Christina was published in two parts, you can find the first half HERE.