Gerry Born – Coordinator, Cooperative Education, Applied Science Technologist / Okanagan College

If you’ve had the pleasure of working with Gerry Born, then you’ll know just how loyal, witty and caring he can be. The perk of being a part of the ACE Membership Committee is getting to know its members. We had the pleasure of interviewing Gerry Born from the Okanagan College. Certified as an Applied Science Technologist and working within Co-op for 20 years, check out the raw, unfiltered interview with Gerry Born.

1. How long have you been working in co-operative education?

Recently, and after 20 years of loyal service with the Okanagan College (OC), I attended a formal employee recognition event. It was comforting to know they still recognised me.

2. Where do you work and what is your job title?

My job title is Coordinator and I work with the Student, Graduate & Co-op Employment Centre.

3. Do you have any specific area of expertise?

For 22 years, I have maintained certification as an Applied Science Technologist with Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) and currently hold the position of ASTTBC Rep. for OC, Kelowna Campus. I coordinate Co-op for the following programs of study: Civil Engineering Technology Diploma, Mechanical Engineering Technology Diploma, Electronic Engineering Technology diploma, and Computer Information Systems diploma/degree.

4. What are 3 words your coworkers would use to describe you?

There are 2 perceptions to this answer, the first one is to try and answer what I think/hope my co-workers might say about me, and secondly, what my co-workers actually say about me. I attempted the first one first and came up with suave, debonair and sophisticated, at least that’s what I was hoping for. And I figured if I was lucky, I’d get “engaging, helpful and humorous” (again, overly optimistic). Then, I asked a co-worker what her three-word-thoughts of me where. Without hesitation, she replied, “very f***** awesome”. I thanked her and suggested the descriptors were likely not publishable. She tried again and said, “personable, listener, diligent – ish”. As a sidebar, a non-co-worker suggested “sincere, honest, and authentic”. Honestly!

5. Did you grow up in BC? If not, where did you grow up?

I grew up in Winnipeg, MB and lived there for 30 years. In Winnipeg, the development of a good sense of humour is mandatory if one hopes to live life with meaning, purpose and fulfilment. Ok, that’s a bit harsh. I do believe, however, it needs to be mandatory for everyone to live in Winnipeg for one winter. In doing so, a deeper sense of gratitude will be felt for where one comes from. I moved to Kelowna in 1989 when I was in my early thirties to return to school as a mature student and took Civil Engineering Technology at the Okanagan College, so coincidentally, I’m a product of the PSI I now work with.

6. What is the best piece of career advice you’ve been given and by whom?

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received is: “There are no good or bad experiences, only learning experiences.” by Eric Worre.