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Kick-starting a career in Southern Ontario through Mitacs Enterprise

Since he was a young boy in India, Gurpreet Sandhu dreamed of coming to Canada for his post-secondary education at an institution that would provide him with the skills and education he needed to pursue a career and life abroad.

After finishing a diploma in Electronics Engineering Technology from Sheridan College, Gurpreet was keen to put his skills and education to use. However, with limited job experience, landing a full-time position proved difficult. After learning about Mitacs Enterprise, Gurpreet partnered with Mississauga-based Avnan Electro, a global supplier of electrical components. The six-month internship was instrumental in providing him with the industry connections and experience he was looking for. Gurpreet is now working full-time as an Electronics Engineering Technologist at Avnan.

Launched in February 2012, Mitacs Enterprise is a competitive six-month internship and business mentorship program that gives graduates of science, technology, engineering and math disciplines an opportunity to work with small-to-medium-sized companies (SMEs) in Southern Ontario. Interns receive invaluable experience by working with a company that can benefit from their specialized technical and business management training while the SME’s access a pool of talented and trained personnel that can help them meet the demands of their business environment.

“As a small company, we’re constantly looking for ways to resourcefully meet our aggressive growth targets and provide innovative products and sophisticated solutions to our customers. Through the Mitacs Enterprise program, we were able to meet the current demands of our open projects, increase our Engineering department’s resources, and most importantly, to train and mentor a new employee extensively, positioning them for a continued role on our team” says Katie Hopkins, Manager of Human Resources at Avnan.

For Gurpreet, the combination of business skills training and senior mentorship from both Mitacs Enterprise workshops and Avnan colleagues provided him with the skills and confidence he needed to enter the job market as a foreign graduate student. “When I started implementing some of the skills I had acquired over the last six-months, I realized the internship had given me the confidence to market myself as a well-rounded and valuable employee. I know I will use the skills and knowledge I have acquired to build a long and successful career in Canada.”