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Hussain Sarawala - Intermediate Designer, John David Edison Interior Design Inc.

When did you move to Canada?

I moved to Canada from India in April 2018.

What is your professional background?

In India, I was practicing as a senior architect and I’ve been working in this field for the the last 8 years.

Have you made friends in the program? How have they helped you?

Of course, its been nice, when I started the course I started a whatsapp group that was kind of dull in the beginning but now its thriving, people share notes, information and we’ve helped each other succeed. It’s not a matter of people talking within groups like Indians talking to just Indians, no, everyone is talking to each other and that’s what I like to see.

How do you think the bridging program helped bridge the gap in your knowledge between India and Canada?

I think the career planning and building code class helped me understand more of the Canadian standards, the fundamentals of how to carry yourself in an interview, how to prepare your resume, and really get that job you’ve had your eye on. I attended many of Humber’s events and services and got to network within them and that helped me rise up to where I am now. What makes this particular program interesting is the additional engineering courses that come along with it, it helps people like me build a more diverse network with not just other architects but also engineers within the course. I have been lucky in a lot of ways - To actually come to Canada, to get admission in this college, and to get this job. But as much as I’ve been lucky, I’ve had to make the effort to bring all this together. Anyone that does not try will not experience the same thing. Anyone can get lucky but if you don’t do the work necessary you can’t possibly maintain that luck.

How did you secure your job?

It’s a funny story. To start off with, my phone interview took place at 10 pm! To make things worse, I was in the bus and there was a lot of commotion. I ended up leaving the bus and just started walking as he was asking me questions. At one point, I realized I had even started panting! So I found a place to sit down and tried to catch my breath to answer the interviewer’s questions. At the end of the interview, he told me to meet his principle architect for an in-person interview. Before I met with him, I found Saddiya (Humber’s Employment Advisor) and she really helped me prepare for the interview. She conducted a practice interview with me over the phone since I didn’t have the time to meet her in person. Our practice interview went well and she gave me the confidence I needed to tackle the real interview. Before the interview, I found out the company does a lot of work abroad in various countries around the world. My experience working in India was an asset, so during the interview I showed him my portfolio from back in India and I guess I hit the nail on the head. In the small period of time I got to interview with him, I made an impression and it all worked out in the end!

About the Engineering Skills Enhancement Bridging Program

Humber offers a 15-week bridging program for internationally educated civil, mechanical and electrical engineers and architecture professionals with training in the latest technical and software skills in demand by Ontario employers. The Engineering Skills Enhancement bridging program is made available through funding from the Government of Ontario.

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