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Partnership with Shenyang Institute provides head start for Electrical Engineering grad

November 26, 2019

Sophie Shi, Red River CollegeSophie Shi knows that knowledge is power.

A 2018 graduate of Red River College’s Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) program, Shi works as a junior electrical designer at Hatch. A global engineering firm, Hatch supplies project and construction management services, as well as consulting and operational services to the mining and metals, energy and infrastructure industries.

Shi, who is from Liaoning province in northeastern China, started at Hatch a year and a half ago on the strength of her final project in the EET program.

“[The project] was about home energy monitoring by using SEL (Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories) company software and equipment,” says Shi, 26, who did her co-op placement at Hatch. “[Hatch] was using SEL company software and equipment, that’s why they were very interested in my final project.”

Shi’s duties at Hatch include assisting engineers with 2D and 3D drafting works, as well as project deliverables, including reviews of vendor drawings, cable lists, and some basic interconnection drawing design work.

Shi says she enjoys working at Hatch, which has an office location in downtown Winnipeg.

“I never feel bored,” she says. “At Hatch, engineers are highly qualified, they teach me before I start the project drafting work. I get the chance to understand and learn the electrical design. My manager provided me 40 hours of 3D modelling training when I entered the company.”

“In addition, Hatch provides exciting social events for us after the work day every month.”

Shi came to RRC through a partnership with Shenyang Engineering Institute in China. This meant that she was able to skip the first year of EET and go straight into year two of the 28-month diploma program.

EET prepares students for employment in the electrical industry, whether it be in design, installation, maintenance, production or technical sales and support.

But before she entered the program, Shi first had to complete a stint at RRC’s Language Training Centre, located at Union Station on Main Street.

“When I came here, I could say ‘yes’ and ‘no’, but when I graduated from Language Training Centre I can communicate with other students and also with professors — and I can find a job,” she says.

“It’s very useful. They not only give you the knowledge of English and the grammar, but also some culture — and the teacher prepared us to be able to present some presentations in front of people.”

Shi says she loves working in the electrical industry in Winnipeg and is happy she came to Canada to study at RRC.

“I had a memorable experience at Red River College,” she says. “I gained technical and hands-on skills in class and the practical lab class. The final project that I did … gave me a chance to build my problem-solving and teamwork abilities. Also, Red River College provides free interview guidance and resume review, as well as co-op opportunities which helped me to have work experience and easily get a job after I graduated.”

“Being an electrical engineer is really cool, and I am really good at math and I have a strong logical thinking. [The] electrical field is my best choice.”

Profile by Jared Story (Creative Communications, 2005)