Written by Juan Zambrano
Third year Journalism student
At Mohawk College, students get the chance to discover and pursue their passion to the fullest. Electrical Engineering Technology student Hamza Zaib Bajwa was one such student. The Electrical Engineering Technology program allowed him to find work in Canada, engaging in a fascination he has had since childhood.
Hamza came to Canada from Pakistan in 2018, with his electrical engineering degree in hand. But finding work in the field proved difficult and the Canadian University program he was enrolled in at the time wasn’t motivating him. Around this time, Hamza met graduates from Mohawk College’s Electrical Engineering Technology program. He visited the college, checking out the labs and meeting program coordinator, Vijay Khatri.
“When I walked through that corridor, it was love at first sight,” Hamza said. “I went upstairs to meet with Vijay and decided it doesn’t matter if it’s a one hour thirty-minute drive. I’m going to come here every day.’”
Hamza’s interest in engineering began when he was young, taking his toy cars apart to find out how the pieces came together and worked. He was also interested in troubleshooting and seeing how electricity is generated, leading to a career where the two skillsets came in handy.
Of course, a program is only as good as the people and resources behind it. Meeting Vijay convinced Hamza to apply to the Electrical Engineering Technology program, and it was everything else about the program that made him stay for the long haul.
“What stood out to me was the labs, the experienced professors, the faculty itself,” Hamza said. “It’s just so rich in knowledge and the labs are so great, that even when you’re not intensely focusing, you end up learning so much that other schools don’t teach.”
Mohawk College aims to make sure students can take full advantage of their program’s learning opportunities. For Hamza, the college’s efforts to help him and students like him were crucial to his overall experience.
“I applied to many different scholarships and bursaries,” Hamza said. “Last year, I ended up getting a scholarship from Hydro One and I received bursaries from Mohawk College every semester. So, that overall decreased my financial burdens.”
Electrical Engineering Technology students must complete a year-long co-op placement, which gives them experience working with professionals in the field. Hamza did his placement as an Internet of Things (IoT) developer. What he learned at the college prepared him for that position and better shaped him into someone ready to work in the field.
“After completing my co-op,” Hamza said, “I’m more focused on where I want to go, what I want to do and which industry I want to work in.”
Hamza is on the hunt for a job as he leaves Mohawk College behind. But he leaves advice for the next generation of Electrical Engineering Technology students, emphasizing the importance of motivation and developing communication skills. He also leaves a different person than the one who fell in love with Electrical Engineering Technology in 2018.
“After spending three years at Mohawk, I’m more educated, more knowledgeable and I have more opportunities than before,” Hamza said. “I’m a different person than when I compare myself to three years ago. So overall, Mohawk College helped me a lot.”