Kendra: Curiosity and Encouragement a Combination for Success

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Kendra knew she wanted to become an electrician since grade 5. However, when she entered high school, she wasn’t sure how to put her goal into action. It was difficult for her to visualize how her secondary education could contribute to a fulfilling career after graduation. So she reached out to her teachers and her older sister for advice.

Kendra’s teachers set her up with a three-week electrical co-op experience, to give her a chance to try the trade out and see if it was the right fit. It was this positive work experience that helped her confirm where she wanted to go.

When she returned to school, Kendra wanted to continue her career development. It was her sister—a recent carpentry graduate—who recommended she try the district trade program to gain valuable training in her field. Kendra found that the program allowed just the right balance of work and school to keep her focused. “Being able to get out into the workforce, then come back and learn in a classroom, really helped strengthen my experience,” she says.

In hindsight, Kendra sees how her time in high school prepared her for success in the trades, noting “Everything I did was oriented toward becoming an electrician.” Kendra’s required secondary coursework and the trades-related shop classes she had taken in high school all contributed to her promising career. She even viewed her math courses with new appreciation, recognizing how classroom knowledge linked directly to her work.

Kendra’s career direction opened the door for her to take on different opportunities. Her participation in the Skills Canada Competition for Electrical Wiring helped her discover her competitive side. To prepare for the event, she built a 4’ by 4’ cubicle mini-construction zone to train with and give herself an edge—helping her bring home a silver award!

Aside from her competitive success, Kendra had the chance to use her trade-based skills to give back to her community. She chose to volunteer for the St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope event, which raises money every year for the hospital and medical research. She worked on a team responsible for the hospital’s light display—the primary attraction of the fundraiser. The versality of Kendra’s career allowed her to put her talent toward a worthwhile community initiative.

Kendra never imagined the opportunities that would come her way as a result of her trades training. She now has a new perspective on her education and is committed to ongoing learning. She suggests people should connect with mentors in different career fields to gain insight into potential job paths. “It’s important having someone to connect to,” Kendra says. “I had my sister to guide me.” Kendra’s journey demonstrates how a little curiosity and encouragement can sometimes be the right combination for career success.

Find out more about becoming an electrician, by viewing the WorkBC career profile and Career Trek video.