It is never easy to write a goodbye. Today is my last day as a full-time employee at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. I spent the majority of my career here, 23 years (including a short two year break to the UAE)! Goodbye is hard.
I started as an Intermediate Systems Analyst coding data integration between our then new Banner system and our IBM mainframe environment in August 1992. I never expected that BCIT would offer such a challenging and rewarding career. Instead of moving to a new company every 3 to 5 years, BCIT provided me with new opportunities and more responsibility.
Over the years, I was able to progress to becoming a Database Administrator and Senior Systems Analyst. I learned to manage a large enterprise resource planning system running on an Oracle database. I also worked to create our first dedicated reporting environment and data architecture. A few years later, I was introduced to Enterprise Architecture and eventually became the Enterprise Architect and you all know how that turned out!
I made the jump to management relatively late in my career (I was 45 years old) when I was selected as the Manager, Business Application Services. It was a big change for me especially having to switch from my EA passion to making the people in my care my passion. I didn’t realize how challenging and rewarding a management role could be. Over the years I worked hard to be a good manager and always put my team first. I worked on skills that I was weak in and continued to focus on those I was good at (including completing a MSc in Information Management with a 4.0 GPA). I was eventually rewarded by being selected as the Director of Information Technology at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. It was an experience of a lifetime and I will always be grateful for the opportunity given to me.
I came back home last September and jumped right back into my role at BCIT. I reconnected with my team, my colleagues and our students. I am so proud of what we accomplished in this past year. Now it is time for me to take on a new challenge a the Senior Manager, Technology Planning for the City of Vancouver.
As it should be, I will always remember the people who I had the privilege of working with at BCIT and in the Higher Education sector. You are an amazing group of colleagues and friends and you shaped the person I am today. I am forever grateful to all of you and will take a part of our shared success to my new opportunity. I will always bleed BCIT Blue! This isn’t goodbye, just so long for now!