Letting go of the past to move toward the Future


Val came to Canada from Eastern Europe in 1996. Back home he worked as a Mechanical Engineer in industrial design. Currently he is a Design Engineer at GKD industries Ltd.

When Val came to Canada, he experienced cultural shock on many levels due to culture differences. For the first 6 months, he lived out of his suitcase, ready to head back to his home country. Val was constantly comparing his new life to his old life, and it was not until he started accepting the new country, that things started to become easier. The energy that he had spent focusing on negative things, he used to start building up new opportunities.

Over the first few years in Canada, Val accepted various jobs like assembling chandeliers as well as operating machinery, to get familiar with the Canadian work environment. In addition, feeling that he was lacking direction, he saw many areas he had to work on to improve himself: first, was his lack of English and communication skills, and second was his lack of software/computer knowledge. Set on improving his language skills, he engaged in more conversations with strangers, took notes wherever he went, and watched more English TV. While working daytime as a machine operator, at night he took classes at a local college to upgrade his software/computer skills.

After going through much self-assessment and self-improvement, Val desired to get back into his original field of expertise, which is engineering. After completing his technical classes, he applied for his first drafter position and got his first Canadian job in his original field! Through work, his English level also started improving quickly and he began gaining more confidence. At every job he had, he demonstrated to his managers his capabilities and backed up with engineering experience; Val was quickly promoted to be a Designer and assigned greater tasks and responsibility. Val recently received his PEng designation through APEGA in April 2016.