As a recent UBCO Master of Mechanical Engineering graduate, Radhik Madathan Kandi applied to the Connector Program at the end of June 2021. He’s now working for two firms and credits the Connector Program with helping him on his local employment search.
Q: Describe the journey after you were introduced to a volunteer Connector from the manufacturing sector?
The Connector sent my resume to a few companies he was in touch with. One of them got back to me and nearly gave me a job but had to back out. It was a bit disheartening, so I stopped trying for a bit. Then I attended an OYP Coffee Social where I met Tory Braun, the organizer. At the meeting, her friend Dave referred me to a company who was his client. I was invited for an interview with the start-up company, with which I’m now working on contract, a CBD oil manufacturing/extraction company called EnCann Solutions. Then, while hiking with a local social group I met online, I met someone who mentioned a company with an opening, so I applied and I’m now also working full-time with Reidco Metal, a sheet metal company located close to Lake Country.
Q: Wow, that’s quite the path to employment?
Yeah, but I'm happy I took this journey because now I know that even if I lose my job, I have grown and know how to find another.
Q: Did you learn anything about yourself through the process?
During one interview that I got through the referral of a friend from soccer, the VP interviewing me said, “I see you're a person who likes to be constantly challenged, so what are you doing nowadays to keep motivated?” That really got me thinking because during job searching, I hadn’t really done anything to keep me motivated.
Also, a lot of people told me to edit my resume and cover letter, but I don’t think it matters so much. It's mostly about trying to get people to notice it. The ones interested in your resume will contact you.
Q: Do you have advice for others about looking for work here?
I'm an introvert and bad at small talk so I don't talk too much to people. But even without talking to too many people, I was still able to network. You don't have to be good at small talk to network with people. You just must talk a bit and can discuss deeper subjects if that’s what you’re into.
Q: Can you comment on the value of the Connector Program?
I wish I knew about the program earlier. The program helped me overcome that barrier of talking with people. Once I was connected with people in my field, I could communicate more freely. It also helped me learn how to develop a professional relationship versus a friendship or social relationship. And it helped me understand that networking is the way to go. It's very important to network with people to stay connected with people, so that you don't miss opportunities.
Q: Would you agree that networking may be even more important for recent graduates?
Definitely. I go back to meeting with Tory and her mentioning to her husband James that I was a mechanical engineer looking for a job. Right away, he was on his phone texting his friend. I was like, snap. That was very, very interesting and changed my perspective of networking.
Q: Do you have other tips you’d like to share with newcomer students who come to Canada?
I’m from a small state in South India so when I came here, I connected with a lot of people, and I started to learn the local culture. It’s very important, especially at social events. If you don't know anything about the local culture, it is harder to mingle. Many people come here and bring their own traditional culture which is very important but it’s also important to accept and practice the culture already here.