I graduated from the two-year Electrical Systems Engineering Technician diploma program back in 1991. Disappointingly, I’ve never worked in this field. Since 1992, I’ve laboured in production manufacturing jobs, one of which lasted 15 years. The main point here is that I always maintained contact with a few of my instructors.
There was one instructor who has stood by me ever since graduation. Leslie Williams is in his 80’s now, but every time I see him, I’m always left feeling very motivated and inspired. Les was my Program Advisor in 1990 and he really wanted me to continue on to the three-year Electrical Control Engineering Technologist program. When I declined, he was so disappointed that he told me that I was likely making a big mistake. I always tell Les that he was absolutely right! I’ve also had meetings with Michael Edwards (Electronics), and Klaus Schmidsrauter (Digital Logic). These guys are also retired, but they hold an abundance of experience and suggestions!
I’ve always wanted to find ways to advance myself and get out of production. This is when I started studying Industrial Engineering and Quality Assurance in Continuing Education. In my Industrial Engineering program, I was very fortunate to have Joel Gaudet teach most of the courses.I will always benefit from the way he would stretch the outline of the courses to include Lean Manufacturing. This always gave me a head start in my manufacturing facility. In Quality Assurance, I had become good friends with one of the instructors. William Stewart is a guy that leaves me feeling very envious. To be able to work in Quality Assurance and then become an instructor would be a great career path for me!
Everyone has had instructors that they didn’t like or didn’t get along with. However, not all of the instructors that I initially disliked turned out to be who I thought they were. Michael Piczak taught my first Quality Assurance course. This course required a major research paper to be done. Mike and I were constantly butting heads over disagreements about the course. Mike is also an instructor at McMaster University and I always felt that his lectures and exams were very comprehensive and made me feel like I was studying a university course rather than a college course. Mike somehow motivated me and brought out the best in me. I ended up submitting the greatest research project I’ve ever done. Mike was so impressed with this paper that he asked me for a copy of it to use in future lectures.
At semester’s end, he pulled me aside and we had a very inspiring conversation about my career path. I was suddenly seeing this guy in a very different light. That’s one of the reasons why I’ve always had a desire to become an instructor. To be able to make an impact on the lives and careers of others is the most rewarding feeling.
Developing a career can be a daunting experience. However, it’s been much more pleasant while having the constant support of my past instructors. I am very fortunate and proud to have these people as my friends.
Thanks for everything, guys!
– Todd Midgley
Electrical Engineering Technician ’91