Centennial college photo

Parampal Singh Bagga’s final project for a computer-aided design and manufacturing program at Centennial College helped land him a job.

Parampal Singh Bagga was so motivated by a presentation he had attended at Amravati University in India he felt destined to continue his education in North America.

“One of our graduates had returned to talk about his career in the United States,” he recalls. “I was impressed by the fact that in North America there’s no limit to the success you can have. Employers reward intelligence and hard work, and don’t care where you come from or what religion you adhere to.”

Bagga, now 26, decided to study in Canada because he liked the idea of residing in a country that celebrates multicultural diversity.

“I spent a lot of time chatting with international students on the Internet who were living in the U.S. and Canada, and they helped me make up my mind,” Bagga says of his decision.

He had chosen to study global business administration, but when he touched down in Toronto two years ago, he learned the program was not what it appeared to be.

Bagga withdrew and began examining other programs that built on his knowledge of mechanical engineering.

“I was looking for something in design and machining — the practical application of my engineering skills.

Centennial College had a two-year program in (computer-aided design and manufacturing) that seemed right,” he said.

Computer-aided design and manufacturing teaches students the design and automated manufacture of parts and assemblies required in modern production. Components are designed on computers instead of paper and their specifications programmed on computer numerical control machines to turn out precision pieces.

Bagga discovered college differed greatly from his university experience in India.

Teachers at Centennial are recruited from the industry and make themselves available to students by phone and e-mail after hours.

“In India you saw your teachers in class and could only ask questions during that time,” Bagga says. “They were well-educated, but didn’t have a lot of knowledge about what the job market was like.”

Bagga’s program culminated in a project that required him to build a working model of a single-cylinder engine.

He used Autodesk Inventor 10 software to design all of the parts and Mastercam software to manufacture the components out of aluminum. His project found favour with the employers he met during his job search this spring: “They were very impressed with the quality of our work and training.”

Bagga began working for a Woodbridge company in June.

For more on Centennial, visit www.centennialcollege.ca/future/setas.jsp.