Taranjeet stands with his arms crossed beside a brick wall the the Polytainers name and logo on it.

Taranjeet Mann was working as a freelance designer in India when he had an opportunity to come to Canada five years ago. He took the leap but soon found that his master’s degree in communications didn’t give him the leg up he expected. 

“It was hard to get work without a Canadian education,” he said. 

It took a few years for Mann to establish himself in Canada and become financially stable, leading him away from the computer science field for a time. 

Mann knew that a diploma from a Canadian post-secondary school was a job search necessity, so he applied to the Computer Systems Technician – Information Technology Infrastructure and Services program at Humber College in Toronto. Mann liked that the Faculty of Applied Sciences & Technology (FAST) offered work-integrated learning programs including a co-op stream. 

“No one would give me a job without references,” Mann said.  

“I knew if I took a co-op program at Humber, it would give me more connections.” 

He applied for more than 50 co-op positions, had plenty of interviews and ultimately chose to accept an offer from Polytainers, an Etobicoke-based company that provides packaging solutions for food companies. 

Bob Barrett, President and CEO of Polytainers, is the founder of the Barrett Family Foundation. The foundation is Humber’s largest private donor and supports student scholarships, skills mentorship and the latest equipment and technology at the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation on Humber’s North Campus. 

Mann’s full-time co-op placement at Polytainers provided work experience that will serve him in the workforce. He worked at the service desk, supporting IT solutions other company tasks, including installing and upgrading software and repairing scanners and printers. 

He even fixed Bob Barrett’s computer. 

Mann also gained experience with unified communications, a seamless, fully-integrated system for communications across an organization. 

When professors introduced the topic to his class a short time later, Mann was already well-versed. 

“I got exposure to see how everything fits together.  This will help me later in my career as I wish to pursue a management role,” he said. 

“I had an opportunity to work with such a great team.” 

Mann left an impression on his employer, too. Even before he graduated, Polytainers offered him a full-time job as a systems administrator. Six months later, he continues to work for the company that saw and nurtured his potential. 

To learn more about work-integrated learning opportunities at Humber College, visit humber.ca/work-integrated-learning.