Zach Andrews

Electronic Engineering Technology Diploma, 2016

For Zach Andrews, the desire for continuous learning and maintaining current education has brought him to Okanagan College not once, but twice. His time at OC also included an impressive performance at the Skills Canada competition where he competed in the Electronics category. With 2 program completions under his belt, he continues to build on his education and broaden his skill set. We recently spoke with Zach about his memories of OC and his future career plans - see below for the full interview.

Tell us a little bit about where you're from.

I was born in Kelowna and grew up in what is now known as West Kelowna.

What were you up to before going to Okanagan College?

Prior to my first time attending Okanagan College for my Red Seal in Electrical, I was travelling and taking some time off from school. Prior to my second time attending Okanagan College where I took the Electronic Engineering Technology Program, I was working up north in Fort McMurray as an Electrician for almost 4 years. After I decided I was going to make the move back to school, I enjoyed a little down time and lived in Berlin, Germany with my girlfriend while she finished her Business degree on an exchange through Okanagan College.

Why did you choose Electronic Engineering Technology program?

I chose the program because it fit with the interests that were sparked over the years working as an Electrician, and because it allowed me to keep my education current. I wanted to know more about microcontrollers and the capabilities of embedded systems, and this course fit perfectly.

What was your most memorable moment at the College?

Probably completing my diploma, because it felt really good to have achieved a personal goal that I had set out to finish years prior to beginning work up North. I also have many good memories of the comradery in class and on breaks with other students in my program.  

Speaking of your diploma, we heard you weren't able to attend your convocation ceremony as you had another exciting endeavour going on, can you tell us about this?

Yes, it is true. I was unable to attend my convocation ceremony because I was competing in the Skills Canada Competition in Moncton, New Brunswick at that time. It was a solid experience and a very well run event that showcased multi-day competitions between representatives from each province in almost every trade/diploma program taught throughout Canada. I represented British Columbia through the Okanagan College for the Electronics category and managed to get my hands on a gold medal for our province/school.
 (Picture below)

What have you been doing since you left Okanagan College? 

Since leaving Okanagan College, I have been studying at UBCO for my Undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering (Applied Sciences). I’ve had a lot of electronic project ideas that I’d love to build, however, between working full time in the summers and studying throughout the rest of the year I haven’t been able to pursue a lot of them yet.

Do you have any plans for the far future to use what you’ve learned at Okanagan College?

I hope that the skills and education I obtained while attending Okanagan College will be utilized throughout the rest of my life. My interest in electronics and programming has not faltered since finishing my diploma so I am sure that I will apply everything I have learned in my far future endeavors.

If you could give current students any piece of advice what would it be?

One piece of advice that stuck with me from my time at Okanagan College, that I’d like to pass on to others, was from my math professor Norm Corbett, that “Anything worth doing in life isn’t meant to be easy.” This has been true for me since finishing my diploma at Okanagan College and I’ve used it many times as a motivator since hearing it to get through whatever difficult situation I’ve managed to encounter.

Any interesting tidbits of info about yourself that others might be interested in learning?

I really enjoy music and I can sometimes be found at various music festivals in the North West with electronic gadgets that I have made for the festival.    


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