Georgian strikes gold at Skills Ontario Competition
June 02, 2021

The switch to a virtual competition from an in-person one didn’t deter Georgian students from capturing gold at the Skills Ontario Competition held on May 12.

Erik Stinson brought home Georgian’s first medal – a gold – in the Mechanical Engineering CAD category. The 24-year-old from Bond Head is in his third year of the Mechanical Engineering Technology program. This was his first time competing in the Skills competition.

A young smiling male with reddish hair and a beard standing outside. He's wearing a blue t-shirt that says Ontario on it and she has a gold medal with a red ribbon around his neck
Erik Stinson

Georgian faculty member and team coach Tanveer Sayed was extremely proud of Erik’s performance.

“I was honoured to mentor Erik in the Skills Ontario competition,” says Tanveer. “He’s been a student of mine for several courses now and has always come to class prepared, while excelling at the tasks and projects he’s worked on. He exhibits a maturity and professionalism beyond his youthful age. I’m very happy for him; he has a great engineering career awaiting him.”

Erik says that when he started his program he was really impressed by the rigorous nature of the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) courses. “I dedicated a lot of extra time to practising my mechanical CAD skills to try and make the most out of this opportunity and I really grew to enjoy it,” he notes. “My professor encouraged me to compete in the competition and provided me with lots of advice and practice material, which helped me prepare. Skills Ontario was right in the middle of the final week of the semester so there was really no time to get ready in the days leading up to it. I was satisfied with strictly being a competitor and giving it my best shot, so as you could imagine, the win was a wonderful surprise.”

Erik explains that the competition was split into two halves – each two hours. The first half required competitors to design, model, and create drawings for a longboard within given specifications. The second half required them to design, model, and create drawings for a splash guard for the wheels of the longboard. The design had to be identical for all four wheels, be attached without any extra fasteners, and had to be 3D printable.

Erik has an eight-month co-op term starting in the fall and plans to further his education with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, followed by his Professional Engineering (P.Eng.) designation.

A young smiling female with her hair tied back. She's wearing a blue t-shirt that says Ontario on it and she has a gold medal with a red ribbon around her neck
Emily Mills

Georgian also won its first gold medal in the Hairstyling category.

Hairstyling student Emily Mills is in her final semester. “Throughout my childhood I was constantly practising different hairstyles from videos I watched on YouTube,” says the 21-year-old from Newmarket. “I was talking to my grandmother one day and she asked me why I didn’t go into hairstyling. So, I applied to Georgian’s Hairstyling program in the fall of 2020, and ever since the first day I’ve realized this is the career for me.”

“We’re so proud of Emily’s amazing job at Skills Ontario,” says Davina Hooper, Georgian faculty member and team coach. “This year’s competition looked very different due to lockdowns and COVID-19 protocols. Emily is one of the most dedicated competitors I’ve ever worked with when preparing for the Skills competition. She hasn’t let any of the struggles of the pandemic get in her way. She’s definitely a role model for everyone. I’m so proud of her accomplishments and know this industry is going to take her to incredible places.”

Emily explains competitors had to complete three things in their virtual competition: a cut, hairstyle and colour theory with certain specifications. The cut had to be asymmetrical with the shortest part of the hair above the chin, styled smooth with a middle part. The hairstyle instructions were no part, low bun with a twist and the colour theory had to be something modern.

Emily says she learned many things from the competition but the most important was learning to believe in herself, her strengths, and knowing she’s more capable than she gave herself credit for. “I’m grateful to everyone who made this happen, and thankful for the opportunity to represent Georgian College,” she says.

Once she graduates, Emily plans to work in a salon in Newmarket to complete her apprenticeship and participate in future competitions.

Both Emily and Erik moved on to represent Ontario in the virtual Skills Canada National competition, held May 26 and 27. The winners will be announced on June 15.

Dr. Bill Angelakos, Dean, Technology and Visual Arts at Georgian, says he was pleased Georgian could continue its support and commitment of their partnership with Skills during COVID-19. “I’m very proud of the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff and students who participated in both the provincial and national competitions this year in the new virtual format,” says Dr. Angelakos. “This truly illustrates their resilience and ability to overcome many different obstacles and our students had an opportunity to put into practice skills we know today’s employers are looking for like creativity, innovative thinking and problem solving.”