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Perfect match: BIT grad sharpens English skills while juggling athletics and academics

April 25, 2019

Anderson Pereira, Red River CollegeFor Anderson Pereira, soccer and studies were a perfect match.

Pereira — a native of Santa Vitória do Palmar, Brazil — graduated from Red River College’s Business Information Technology (BIT) program in 2017.

As an international student at RRC, Pereira played soccer and futsal for the Red River Rebels, an experience he says sharpened his English language skills.

“It’s a little challenging when you first get to a new country. You have to interact with people in a second language, which is not easy at first. It can keep people from talking,” says Pereira, 29, who also studied at RRC’s Language Training Centre for four months.

“Having that relationship with all my friends from soccer, you see that people are open to help you and show you stuff, so it gives you a bit of confidence to put yourself out there. It made it easier when I needed to ask for some help in class or do a presentation to my classmates.”

Pereira captained RRC’s men’s futsal team to its first-ever Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference championship in 2017.

After graduation, he continued with the Rebels soccer program for a season as an assistant coach. Last summer, Pereira was named head coach of Canadian Mennonite University’s men’s soccer program, and in the fall, he led the CMU Blazers to their first MCAC championship since 2005.

Pereira also put together the Winnipeg Rovers Futsal Club, which won the inaugural Manitoba Soccer Association Futsal Cup and represented Manitoba at the 2018 Futsal Canadian Championships in Kingston, Ont.

“From there, I was scouted by the national coach for an ID camp with the national team,” says Pereira. “It’s exciting. Everything started as an athlete at Red River. It opened a lot of doors.”

Speaking of opening doors, during the industry-project portion of the BIT program, Pereira worked at BIT Space Development, an interactive digital media company.

While there, a co-worker recommended Pereira for his current position as a web developer at Global Office Software. The Manitoba company specializes in cloud-based business management software.

“We have two systems that we work with. One of them is management for business and the other one is for clinic and hospital management,” Pereira says. “Juvonno is the name of one of our systems. Clinics buy the system for their location to set up appointments and take care of their payments, and I’m responsible for building updates on the system.”

Pereira says the BIT program prepared him well for his work in web development.

“I think one of the main things about the BIT program that’s helped is the workload in the program and how hands-on it is,” he says.

“In some of the classes you take, one assignment links to another one and at the end you have a big project, which is the process in the workplace as well. When you create software or a website, you have a process to do it, and I think Red River captures that really well in classes.”

“Also, the teachers are really well-prepared and they know what you’ll have to do when you go into a work environment. You have teachers coming from the industry, so they know the standards. In the IT field, you have to be up-to-date, so it’s good to have someone with industry experience teaching you.”

Pereira says having to balance soccer and studies helped him to master time management.

“At Red River, I had to organize my schedule because I had classes all day, soccer training in evenings and games on weekends. It was a really busy schedule,” he says.

“Now, I have a full-time job, I’m coaching and I have games on weekends, but I’m kind of used to that rhythm. It made it easier now.”

Profile by Jared Story (Creative Communications, 2005)