BCIT is The Place to Kick Start Your Career
"If you know what you want to do," says Peterson Cheung, "then BCIT is the place to kick start your career." The programs tend to be more focused than university programs, which often require a broader base of courses for graduation.
Peterson did university transfer courses at Langara College for two years, but decided to go to BCIT for a two-year diploma in Mechanical Engineering, manufacturing option. He wanted to get his career started as soon as possible.
He got his wish. He had a job offer from Carmanah Design and Manufacturing (formerly CAE Machinery Ltd.) before graduating in 1988, and has been there since. He went on to do his Bachelor of Technology in Manufacturing in September 1999, supported by the company.
Peterson explains that the benefit of a BCIT diploma is that it is a great ticket for employment, and upon graduation, you can still pursue a degree program either at BCIT, or other at supporting universities.
Peterson currently works as project controller at Carmanah Design and Manufacturing, which specializes in providing equipment for engineered wood products, sawmill, and pulp and paper industries.
Peterson coordinates production jobs. When an order is received, he requisitions the material and determines the labour requirement. He also trouble-shoots in the manufacturing stage. In a nutshell, he makes sure a project comes in on time and on or under budget – "very important in these competitive times," he says.
Peterson worked his way up to this position. His first job was as an estimator, then, he was a purchaser, and from there, he went into an industrial engineering position. This experience gave him the knowledge and skills to properly cost material and labour and to have first-hand knowledge of production processes. He finds his current job very satisfying because "I have some real control over the product."
When asked why he decided to pursue the BCIT degree program in manufacturing, Peterson said, "I sensed that the company needed more skills than I had and I wanted to advance. They were willing to support me. The degree program gave me the skills and confidence that I needed to succeed in the work place. As it turns out, a Carmanah manager is an advisory committee member of the BCIT’s bachelor of technology manufacturing program, but I didn't know that when I started my studies.