I met Gaby when I was in grade 9, and I have been lucky enough to consider her my best friend ever since. Gaby is smart, beautiful, caring, funny and I look up to her a lot. She has always been like a sister I never had. She’s the first person I call for happy or sad news. She is my person (Grey’s anatomy reference) and I couldn’t imagine my life without her. I am blessed and grateful to have such an amazing friend. Gaby has always been intelligent, passionate, hardworking and humble and I’ve always admired these qualities in her. She is the definition of a strong and independent woman and I hope she inspires you as much as she inspires me.
Tell Us A Little Bit About Yourself And What You Do?
My name is Gabriela Avila and I’m 27 years old. I was born in Honduras and moved to Canada at the age of two.
I have two sisters, Ale and Andrea, that I am very close to and would consider my best friends. I tell them everything, sometimes a little too much.
I graduated from The University of Western Ontario with a bachelor of Engineering Science, and have been working in Construction Management ever since.
How Did You Get Into This Field Of Work?
Both of my parents went to school for Engineering so I guess there was always a curiosity about it. In high school, I liked science and math and thought why not. It was as simple as that.
What Inspires You?
I love meeting people with ambition or who have a different perspective on life. I’m always so intrigued and love to copy good habits from others. Travelling also inspires me.
What Is Your Personal Mantra Or Mission Statement?
Love yourself. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Work hard but have fun. Embrace change. Expect the worst, but hope for the best.
What Does Happiness Mean To You?
For me it comes down to feeling proud of myself. If I’m proud of the person I am, I’m happy. Am I happy with the relationship I have with my family? With my friends? Do I feel satisfied with what I have accomplished with my career and the direction I’m heading? Am I taking care of my body? These are the things that need to be checked off for me to happy. I can’t say they are always balanced but it’s what I strive for, and when they are, I definitely appreciate those moments.
What Are Your Hobbies?
I took up running a couple of years ago, and I love it. It helps with stress and there’s nothing better than throwing on your favourite songs and zoning out. I try to read when I can, and I enjoy going for sunday brunch with my friends. I think it can be considered a hobby at this point.
What Are A Few Things You Do Every Single Day To Keep Yourself On Track?
I can’t say there’s something that I do every single day, but most nights I tend to set myself a to-do list for the next day. I find setting goals helps to keep me on track and ensuring I get the important things done. Lastly, there’s nothing like unwinding in front of the TV before bed. I need that me time.
If You Could Give Advice To Someone Looking To Get Into Your Field What Would It Be And Why?
If you have the opportunity to gain experience while in school through internships, do it. I found that in this industry, most of what you learn is through work experience. If you can gain some of that experience while you are still in school, you will definitely be heading of the pack.
What Has Been Your Most Rewarding Experience So Far? Work Or Personal
Buying a condo. It might sound silly but it was something I worked hard for and I am proud of.
What Is The Biggest Challenge You’ve Overcome In Your Life Thus Far? What Did You Learn? Are You Thankful For What It Taught You?
At the beginning of my career, I spent about two years living up north on a camp job. I was on a rotation of 14 days on, 7 days off, working 14 hour days, and living in a small bedroom trailer. Having it been my first job out of school, it took a toll on me and I got into a rut. I thought of quitting every second of the day. A few years later as I can look back on it, I’m actually really happy I didn’t quit. I learned a lot from it and grew from it. There’s a certain satisfaction about having stuck through it when it got hard.
Who Is Your Role Model/ Who Has Been The Most Influential Person In Your Life?
There are a few but if I had to narrow it down, I’d probably have to say my sister Ale. I don’t think I would have overcome some fears that I had when I was younger if she hadn’t pushed me to do so.
When Do You Feel Most Inspired?
Visiting family in Honduras. I find I come back with a different perspective on life, in a good way.