Students today require to have some experience before they kickstart their professional careers. In today’s day and age, students cope up to having relevant skills and knowledge. Some students find this arduous, while students like Harshdeep nail it by seizing a ton of exposure. In a short period, he has worked in both the Public and Private sectors ranging from providing IT support in Big Corporation to a city council and now in a Higher Education Institution.
With such experience, Harsh becomes an asset wherever he goes.
How do you think transferring to Canada from FVI was any different than other ways to transition to Canada?
There was a huge difference. I was a lot matured, and the cultural shock was far less than what I would have expected transitioning directly to Canada.
There is a tectonic shift between the Indian education system when compared to the Canadian applied education system. In what ways do you think the latter is beneficial? Do you feel your college prepared you for the workforce and the real world?
The latter is beneficial because it prepares you for the real world in a wholesome manner rather than just gaining the former’s bookish knowledge. At the end of my degree, I was a lot more confident and experienced with practical knowledge.
If given a chance to graduate all over again, what would you do differently?
Probably take part in a lot more college activities than I did during my time.
What do you think are some insecurities that international students face? Did you face any such insecurities? If yes, how did you manage to overcome them?
The biggest insecurity would be of making it on their own. You just need to hang in there, keep on hustling and make use of every opportunity that you get.
Tell us a little bit about your Co-op experience. What was the organization, the role, and how did it align with your life goals?
I did two Co-op terms with Tech Resources Ltd. as a Digital Systems Coop in Elk Valley near BC/Alberta border. I used to do real-time process control system maintenance in coal processing plants. It was an unbelievable experience where I met coop students from all over Canada, belonging to different backgrounds. Staying & working with those highly skilled engineers, researchers & environmentalists for 8 months pushed me to work harder on achieving my goals. I also did another coop with the City of Abbotsford as an IT Support Technician for 4 months, which gave me insight into the municipal government’s day-to-day working.
How did you manage one, and what is something that students need to keep in mind before looking for a co-op working opportunity.
I applied for both the coops from the UFV CareerLink portal after completing their requirements. The only advise I would give is to use the coop program as soon as you can. Your degree may get extended, but it’s worth having that coop experience under your belt when you graduate. Companies prefer people who have done coops as this gives them on the job experience, and they have the edge over freshers while applying for jobs.
What was one determiner that helped you choose FVI?
The idea of being able to experience college life in both India and Canada was quite fascinating for me, which helped me evaluate my options at that time.
How did your experience at FVI/UFV help you find your first/right position for work after graduation?
FVI/UFV helped me to shape into the person I’m today. The coop jobs I got through UFV enabled me to increase my network, which helped me get a position within UFV.
Tell us about a time when you have taken the initiative while in India. What made you choose the right opportunity for you?
I took the initiative to learn something new in the summer holidays/semester when we don’t have to take the courses. I did a Cybersecurity internship with Gurugram Commissionerate and on the sides was taking computer networking training on the weekends. The drive was to stay connected with what I have learned and gain some actual hands-on experience before transferring to Canada.
How was student life like at the Chandigarh Campus?
That’s one of the things I miss the most. The campus life was pretty great. I remember celebrating both Indian & Canadian holidays/festivities. Then there was the annual QBiz event which actually introduced me to UFV in my schooling days. Living in the SD hostel is also one of the things I cherished.
With the ever-evolving pandemic situation, uncertainties and stress have gripped every student alike. What would be your advice to a student who finds these times challenging and never-ending, considering they stand at a pivotal juncture?
My advice would be to stay focused and not lose hope. Try to learn new things in the free time you’ve got and explore your potential. You never know where you might find your calling and end up being an expert.