As the sector grows ever-hotter, instructors are needed to help build the next generation of tech professionals. We sat down with Computer Systems Technology (CST) Program Head Trevor Lord to hear what lured him from industry to a job in the classroom.
Q: What’s your background and where were you before you came to BCIT?
A: My industry background started in direct end-user support and over 16 years progressed ultimately to leading global system migration and post-merger integration projects for SAP Canada. I also earned an MBA from UBC’s Sauder School of Business along the way.
Q: What do you love about the move into teaching?
A: In my teaching career, I have great opportunities and tremendous support to keep learning and growing, my work-life balance is actually in balance, and I have a visibility and scope across my industry that I never had before.
Of course, the great perk, benefit, and pay-off is being able to learn from, and positively impact my students. It makes me realize every day that the experience I have, the skills I’ve developed, and my passion for learning really can make a difference. That’s a benefit that can’t be quantified.
Q: What made you decide to explore teaching opportunities?
A: I always knew I wanted to try teaching. I love learning new things and the saying is true – the best way to learn something is to teach it. The creativity required in teaching, the deep dive into the content, the complexity of working out how to communicate ideas and engage students, and the opportunity to leverage all of your professional and academic experience is really challenging and very exciting.
Q: How did you get started?
A: I enrolled in, and started taking courses in BC’s Provincial Instructor Diploma Program (PIDP) because it is excellent preparation. It’s also a great way to figure out if teaching is for you, and it’s a clear signal to prospective employers that you’re serious about teaching. Through my network I was able to get an opportunity to teach a course at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, which turned into a few courses over the following couple of years.
That invaluable experience helped me decide that teaching was what I wanted I do in the next phase of my career. That awareness and that preparation enabled me to make the make the leap to switch my career from industry to full-time teaching when the perfect opportunity with BCIT, my dream position, opened up.
Q: Any final insights?
A: I don’t say that I’m “giving back”. That implies somehow that my career success has peaked and that what I have to offer is super valuable. My career is progressing and growing in ways I didn’t anticipate, and it’s ultimately up to my students to determine the value of my instruction. I can’t be “giving back” because I’m getting so much out of it.
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