The College of New Caledonia’s Level 3 and 4 Power Engineering programs could not be better suited for someone as ambitious and dynamic as Colin Vander Ende.
At the age of 32, Colin already has an impressive range of education and work experience under his belt.
He has a Psychology and a Commerce Degree from UNBC, completing both within five years. He has completed several trades tickets and has worked several positions at different sawmills and pulp mills. For six years, he owned a gym, working as a personal trainer. For a short stint, he even worked at Northern Health as a Family and Addictions Youth Counsellor.
“I’m not the kind of guy who can sit around and do nothing,” Colin said.
After several years of different jobs though, he decided he wanted a “T4 lifestyle” that had him working, doing his job well, and progressing within one company.
While working at different mills, Colin noticed it was the power engineers who worked throughout the entire plant.
“They had really interesting jobs and made good money,” he said.
So that’s the career he chose to ultimately pursue.
In the last two years, Colin completed both the Power Engineering Level 4 and Level 3 programs at CNC in Prince George. He now works at UNBC as a Shift Engineer and is very happy with his position.
“It’s really busy and so interesting,” he said. “One minute, you’re doing pump seals, the next minute you’re dealing with the water shut off. You have to have a sharp mind and be good at diagnostics.”
And of course, his ambitions continue. Taking advantage of free tuition for UNBC employees, Colin is pursuing another degree in Human Resources, which he can eventually put towards managing others. He also plans on finishing his Level 2 Power Engineering.
Impressed with the technology offered by the CNC, he recommends the program to anyone wanting to pursue a career in power engineering.
“CNC has a simulator that you can run and log your hours,” Colin said. “It’s an opportunity to get your tickets as quickly as you can and is the only school in BC or Alberta that has this opportunity.”
He also praised the support and dedication of his College instructors.
“At CNC, your teacher is almost like a tutor,” Colin said. “They help you through things while you go at your own pace. I studied long hours. I was up to two or three in the morning sometimes. But the instructors know the material so well they can teach difficult subjects, like math, with such simplicity.”