Co-op leads to full-time position for new Georgian graduate

Brad Borutski was one of 1,896 Georgian graduates crossing the virtual convocation stage in October, and he did so with six weeks of full-time employment already under his belt. The 31-year-old Electrical Engineering Technology graduate was hired as an electrical designer at Gerrits Engineering Limited in Barrie where he did his co-op last fall.

A smiling male with short dark hair iand glasses. He's sitting in front of a computer and is wearing a grey striped shirt.

Brad is thrilled about joining Gerrits. He had a great co-op experience and enjoyed being part of the team.

“It’s extremely exciting,” says Brad. “Since returning, everyone at Gerrits has been so friendly and welcoming and it honestly feels like I never left.”

Brad is doing a lot of the same things he did during his co-op, which included a broad range of tasks such as using AutoCAD and Revit to draw and adjust fire alarm risers, single line diagrams, lighting plans, and fire alarm layouts. One of his favourite projects from his co-op was designing the layout of streetlights for a new subdivision. He had to use various styles to achieve appropriate light distribution adhering to the city’s guidelines.

He’ll have a number of other new responsibilities and may, eventually, be in charge of all fire alarm jobs, which would mean pricing, site visits, design and drawing, building code-related queries and working with future Georgian co-op students.

Brad says his co-op work term at Gerrits was extremely valuable. Even though it took place during the height of the pandemic with people working remotely, he was lucky most of his team was on site so he was able to easily form a good working relationship with them. After his initial training he was quickly given tasks doing things he was already familiar with from his studies, such as Computer-Aided (CAD) drawings.

“The fact that even during a co-op term I got to make permanent and lasting decisions was such a great feeling, And working environment aside, it was wonderful to be a part of a company that also had a strong sense of community.

Brad Borutski, Electrical Engineering Technology graduate

“Every month the Fun Committee had things planned to get people engaged, and with physical distancing and reduced gatherings they did such a super job,” adds Brad.

Cameron Christie, Director Operations at Gerrits Engineering, said he’s very happy with Georgian’s co-op programs and the college’s graduates.

“Part of the reason we hired Brad is because the training students receive from Georgian is directly transferable to work we do here at Gerrits,” says Cameron. “The other part is that he was a great fit with our team, and we always try to keep good people.”

Gerrits, a multi-disciplined engineering firm, has provided co-op opportunities for Georgian students for several years and Borutski is the sixth co-op graduate they’ve hired over the past two years.

“Georgian students come with a skillset that is directly specific to our business.

Cameron Christie, Director Operations, Gerrits Engineering Limited

“Their knowledge of the software and technology we use makes each person pretty much turnkey to our operation,” says Cameron. “The students we end up hiring all have an ability to critically think, which is necessary in our company. We don’t need yes people, we need people who question why we do something a certain way, and then help develop a new way to do it.”

Cameron adds that Gerrits is a young company with the average age of employees being around 35 so they enjoy working with, and learning from the students.

Brad says being able to put all the classroom theory and practice into actual work allowed him to network with people and suppliers in the field and be more efficient coming out of school.

“I’m so thankful to already have a full-time position in such a great company,” he says. “I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me here.”

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