Jul
26
2018

NY state of mind? Nope - Prince Edward Island

Penny Walsh-McGuire

Growing up in a small rural community, it was being surrounded by strangers in a big city that made Penny Walsh McGuire yearn for home.

The Savage Harbour native -- and her high school boyfriend -turned-husband Ryan McGuire– left for the U.S. in 2004, she with a diploma from Holland College and a business degree  from UPEI. An Island connection at an international advertising agency helped her secure employment in New York City.

“As new grads we felt we needed a different experience,” she explains. “Your Island roots will always help open doors for you.”

But it was a three-hour round-trip commute from her shoebox New Jersey apartment to her Midtown Manhattan office.

“It was never the way I wanted to be spending my days. It was interesting work and a fantastic city, but instead of being surrounded by strangers on trains, I wanted to be surrounded by friends and family.”

When they started talking about renewing their work visas for another three years, they knew they wanted to come home.

Walsh-McGuire reached out to her network and was able to secure a marketing job at Confederation Centre of the Arts in 2007. Ryan had to work in New Brunswick for six months but eventually transferred with his company to the Island. He now works with the feds as an engineer but originally was with a private sector engineering firm when he transferred.

“It was absolutely the right decision,” she said. “My family drew me back --  I knew I wanted to stay connected to those important people in my life.”.

The career-lifestyle balance (a five minute commute from their house in Sherwood) and the professional advantages have helped them never look back. They both golf, he drives his motorcycle, and they know their neighbours.

Her brother also repatriated in recent years after spending a decade as a red seal plumber in Alberta.

 “You can get things done faster here than in a city of millions of people,” she said.

What would it take for you or someone you know to move home again? Tell your story and hashtag #URPEI for a chance to win a one way ticket to PEI from anywhere in the world.

General Inquiries

Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning
3rd Floor, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: (902) 368-6290
Fax: (902) 368-6340

wal@gov.pe.ca