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No blueprint for success

By Geoff Ash

When a misdiagnosis resulted in a ruptured spleen, Jamie Anstey's future career as an engineer looked grim. Thankfully, the Memorial student's uncle managed to get him to the hospital in time, despite battling a raging snowstorm at the time. However, the medical emergency would not be the last hurdle Mr. Anstey would have to overcome.

"I had to have emergency surgery, and it was just before finals so I had to have deferred exams," he recalled. "I just barely scraped by, and then the next semester was sort of the same, so I started wondering, 'Is this really for me?' But I was getting by, so I decided to stick with it and after that I started to do better."

Stick with it he did. Mr. Anstey will graduate with his bachelor of civil engineering degree on May 31 – which also happens to be his birthday.

Inspiration: The uncle and the Legos
Not everyone decides his or her future from playing with childhood toys, but for Mr. Anstey it was a no-brainer.

"Growing up, I always loved to draw and play with Legos. And I heard a lot of talk about engineering so I always sort of knew that's what I wanted to do."

Remember the uncle who saved Mr. Anstey from his burst spleen? He was the source of all the engineering "talk" due to the fact he is a professor of engineering in Memorial's Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. Dr. Amgad Hussein has been a lifelong source of inspiration for Mr. Anstey.

"I've known him since I was five. We're pretty close, so I guess he rubbed off on me."

Having an uncle as a professor is not necessarily a good thing, however.

"There was no preferential treatment," Mr. Anstey said. "My first exam with him
. . . he failed me."

Prepared for the real world
Mr. Anstey completed his co-operative engineering work terms with the Department of Transportation and Works, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Kiewit and DBA Consulting Engineers, Inc., all right here in Newfoundland. He says that the real world experience teaches you how to deal with real life problems that do not always make it into the curriculum.

"There is no class to teach you how to deal with angry supervisors on a job site, or problems with concrete quality. In real life these things happen."