Every month we will take a moment of our engineers (valuable, valuable) time to ask them a series of (equally valuable) questions regarding their work at CENGN, and their personal experiences in Canada’s telecom scene. Through the unconventional and unanticipated narrative of our engineers, CENGN’s “At the Water Cooler” seeks to highlight the human-side of #cdntech as it continues to grow.

 

What were your initial thoughts on CENGN?

I thought it was too good to be true. We’ve all been affected by the dwindling Canadian presence in technology at all levels. Not that you’re intending to, but when you’re working at an American company, you’re really closed off from Canadian problems.

Based on your personal experience, how is CENGN working to help local engineering talent?

I’m from Canada: I grew up here, I was educated here, but I worked in an American company. When I was let go, I had a hard time finding an appropriate job and that felt awful. As a student I didn’t know what to focus on, and the people I’ve interviewed have reflected that. The experience here at CENGN will guide them with that, years before they graduate, by simultaneously exposing them to real corporate needs and the needs of Small-to-Medium Businesses. They’re potential employers for them and these students get to pick and choose. Better than that, they meet people and build relationships on an experimental basis.

CENGN seems to be deeply based on cooperation, how is this reflected in our office?

The students talk to each other. Of course it’s a competitive world out here, so are you going to tell all your buddies all your secrets? I don’t know. We can’t control how cooperative the students are among themselves but there are checks and balances to make sure that the knowledge they get here is shared. They document everything they do – you get for yourself, and you leave awesome stuff behind for others. I just can’t figure out how anyone loses from coming here. It’s a consortium, it brings us all together.

How does the CENGN experience differ from a typical, corporate one?

When I’m here, I’m learning stuff that I wouldn’t be exposed to in a large company because they have only one thing that they want to do. CENGN has the things that all its partners want to do. All the projects that come through want to do different things. Students want to learn different things. The collaborative things that people want to do defines what the leading thing is.

CENGN is often defined as being cutting-edge, do you agree?

I think our ability to be cutting-edge is our understanding, with respect to people’s intellectual property, the collective desire of where people want to go, and where we can go by being among the talent needed to pull it off. It gives a person like myself the confidence that whatever I have to do is needed. All that due diligence is done, and I can do my job and know that it’s all going somewhere.

Can you sum up why you chose to join CENGN?

I’m here because it’s a great idea and I really believe in it. It always felt like it fit, because it seemed to solve all the deeper hardships I’ve seen and felt and been part of. Things that have really affected my life and others. Because we’ve got to leave a good trail for our kids.