John Wilson, AScT
I was hired three (3) weeks prior to graduating by Golder Brauner and Associates, a geotechnical consulting firm. This reaffirmed to me that BCIT graduates were sought by Industry. I worked there for eighteen months doing some field work but was primarily used to catalogue, ship and maintain the various tools and equipment used. I was also involved to ship the equipment to the jobsite, which in many cases was an international location.
My next position was with the Engineering Department with the City of Surrey. The qualifications required the applicant to have successfully graduated with a Diploma in Applied Sciences from a two (2) year post-secondary technical school. Registration with the ASTT Association was not and still is not mandatory. During my interview it was very apparent that my having graduated from BCIT spoke volumes as to the training received from BCIT. I was never questioned on technical understanding throughout the interview.
I worked for the City of Surrey for over thirty (30) years and held six (6) progressively higher positions involving more and more responsibilities. My last promotion came in 2006 when a new position was created in the Development Services Division. The position was listed as a Development Services Project Manager. Applicants were required to be a Professional Engineer in good standing with APEG and have a minimum of ten (10) years relevant experience or a graduate from a Technical School with commensurate experience. This was the first time that a management position at City Hall had been opened up to a technologist. Fourteen (14) applicants applied; ten (10) engineers and two (2) technologists. I was chosen as the successful candidate. I managed seven (7) project supervisors and was called upon to be involved in approximately one hundred and fifty (150) Land Development files on an ongoing basis.
I was also assigned the responsibility to represent the Development Services Division before City Council at both the Land Use Council Meetings and the Public Hearing Meetings. This was a very high profile position requiring considerable knowledge of the applications being presented before Council and the Public. The expectation was that I would be able to respond to all inquiries with clarity and proper decorum.
I have had the privilege of playing a direct role in the development of the City of Surrey as it was transitioning from a “rural community” to the “urban community” that it is today.
Why I Became A Technology Professional
- Having graduated from High School I had been working in various jobs trying to determine what type of career I wanted. Eventually I went to a Career Counselling Center and wrote a series of tests on a wide variety of subjects. The outcome was a listing of five (5) career paths that my aptitudes and interests favoured. Of the five (5) Civil and Structural Engineering at BCIT was the identified as the hardest. I have always challenged myself in anything I undertake so I enrolled at BCIT in the fall of 1975.
Professional & Community Activities
- Coach: Whalley Baseball Association: National Certified Coaching Program - Level II; (1994 to 2009)
Blood Donor: lifetime; (100th donation April 2012.)
Currently Volunteering at Elim Retirement Community (an age in place facility).
Currently taking a Spiritual Care Course offered through the Abbotsford Regional & Langley Memorial Hospital.