GPLLM graduate Hilary Thompson

From the Fall-Winter 2012 issue of Nexus.

By Randi Chapnik Myers / Photography By Jeffery Kirk

As an engineer working as manager of regulatory products on the GTA project at Enbridge Gas Distribution, Hilary Thompson has always been interested in how energy is delivered to customers. When she heard about the GPLLM, she became fascinated by the prospect of learning how it moves across provincial and international borders.

“I wanted to learn and contribute more in the industry on a macro level,” Thompson says. So she knew right away that she wanted to apply. “The fit was right, the program was right, and the timing was right.”

For Thompson, the most exciting aspect of the program was the first-hand exposure to practitioners’ knowledge and experience. Highlights included guest lecturers from the firm that represented Lehman Brothers through its collapse, the firm representing TMX in the Maple-TMX deal, and a lawyer from Greece offering insight into the debt crisis.

Even when lectures did not relate to her industry, Thompson felt enriched by the information she was absorbing. “Education in business law, both domestically and globally, enhances my ability to recognize business and industry influences and gives me the tools to ask the right questions,” she says.

The balancing act—work, school and “whatever personal life she could squeeze in”—was manageable because the GPLLM is modeled after an Executive MBA, and takes the busy schedules of professionals into consideration, she explains.

All that hard work has paid off. “The degree has already opened doors in my career path,” Thompson says. After completing it, she moved from the operations and engineering areas of the business to a role specific to regulatory affairs. The course also inspired her to pursue volunteer opportunities in the future on a not-for-profit board in the areas of corporate governance and finance.

“Most of all, the program helped me identify and focus my interests on a career path,” says Thompson, now a professional engineer with a master of laws—a unique and valuable combination.

“I love my new role,” she says, “and I’m not sure if I would have been offered the opportunity without the experience I gained through the GPLLM.”

Find out more about the GPLLM.