Fifteen years ago, Shannon Goodfellow and his wife packed up all their belongings, jumped in their car, and headed west on a “hope and a prayer.”
In search of employment after the company he’d been working for since graduating from New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) went under, the Miramichi, New Brunswick native opted to seek out new opportunities in Calgary.
“We had no place to stay, no jobs, no friends, and no family, but I would’ve done anything. I would’ve dug ditches if I’d had to, I just needed to find work,” said Goodfellow, 42, who earned his diploma in Electronics Engineering Technology from NBCC in 2001.
“It was definitely a big leap, but it worked out, because I found AMETEK.”
Goodfellow said he started out “on the bottom rung” at the $5-billion-a-year manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices shortly after arriving in Calgary in 2004.
Initially brought on as an AMETEK assembler, by the following year, he’d been promoted to technologist – the role he trained for at NBCC. From there, his career trajectory has been in constant movement upwards ever since.
“By 2006, I was a production planner; by 2008, I was a production supervisor; by 2013, I was the warehouse supervisor and production planning; and by 2014, I was the planning and procurement manager,” Goodfellow said.
It was at that point, he said, that he reached a pinnacle at AMETEK and began considering a second leap of faith – returning to school to upgrade his credentials and, in turn, broaden his professional prospects at the company he’s come to call home.
“I was in supply chain at the time, and my goal was to be the operations manager for a factory. For me, an MBA is probably the ultimate goal, but a BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) degree felt like it was the logical route to get there,” he said.
“I looked up some possible institutions to get my BBA and – being from New Brunswick – Yorkville University was on that list. I did the research, found out about some of their successful graduates, and decided it looked like a good program.”
Confident Yorkville’s online BBA program was the best fit for him, Goodfellow said he was nevertheless reluctant to sign up at first – fearful that his studies would be too much to manage alongside a full-time job and young family at home.
“I did drag my feet a little bit. It took some time to make that decision, because, even today as I finish up my last year, it’s hard to juggle everything with work and a nine-year-old son,” he said, “but I did eventually make the leap and I’m really happy for it.”
In fact, since enrolling in Yorkville’s BBA program, Goodfellow has already received the promotion he was seeking.
“My goal was to run a factory, and that’s what I’m doing now, while still going to school,” he said of his relocation to the U.S. this year to take on the role of Manufacturing Manager at AMETEK’s Newark, Delaware factory.
“I think AMETEK believes in me; they see that I’m doing this (BBA at Yorkville), and they believe that I will finish it, so they gave me this opportunity knowing that I’m going to follow through.”
Not only will earning his Bachelor of Business Administration degree help cement Goodfellow’s promotion at AMETEK, but he said he’s already implementing some of the knowledge and theory he’s gained from his studies at Yorkville in the workplace.
“From the business writing course I took in the beginning, to my accounting classes, all the way up to some of the organization change and management ones I’ve taken more recently – they’ve all helped me kind of centre myself,” he said, noting that he recently impressed his colleagues with a presentation of one of his Yorkville projects.
“I did a presentation based on Kanban – a Japanese term used for management of materials – in collaboration with a couple of people I worked with in Calgary, and it was really good…It went over so well, that it’s now been implemented over several of our factories in North America – and it’s really having a big impact.”
Looking beyond his graduation next year, Goodfellow said he’s hoping to continue parlaying his Yorkville degree into even more career growth at AMETEK.
“They’ve always given me a lot of responsibility, and I’m grateful for that,” he said. “It’s a place where you can have creativity, and you can have the autonomy – and it’s always been a fantastic place to work.”