New perspectives that matter
For many post-secondary students, it’s easy to define success – a high grade point average (GPA) and a job offer after graduation. For some students, like Sandeep Sidhu, measuring success goes one step further and includes the experiences along the way that enrich our perspectives and build a well-rounded skillset.
After moving from Singapore to Winnipeg, MB, Sandeep was only 12-years-old when he took an interest in the world of technology and taught himself HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to level-up his skills in web development. The tipping point of his deep-rooted passion for technology came when he saw a peer presenting on “Blogger,” a blog-publishing service before huge social media channels like Facebook and Instagram even existed. This defining moment as pre-teen sparked his interest to pursue an education in computer science, which further fueled his passion for cloud computing, big data, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).
This passionate Computer Science Honours Student from the University of Manitoba has truly moved the needle on world-class energy projects since joining our Information Services (IS) department.
Large corporate company with a start-up feel
Sandeep was surprised to quickly discover that joining the IS team felt somewhat like working at a start-up in the way his colleagues collaborate and come up with creative new ideas.
“It’s not just a big corporate company where I can get experience, but it’s also got a small, start-up feel,” shares Sandeep. “I am not limited because I am a student. I am engaged and expected to contribute to the team like any other TC Energy employee. My opinion and ideas are truly valued. That’s what’s been truly captivating, while also incredibly humbling.”
Our Vice-President of IS and Chief Information Officer (CIO) Chris Foster advocates for students starting out – continuously recognizing the value they bring to the table.
“I believe very strongly that all of us are lucky enough to have careers at a great company, and it’s our duty to provide meaningful experiences to those starting out and trying to get a foothold to launch their own careers,” says Chris. “I don’t bring students on for them to simply push paper and not contribute any ideas. I welcome students to our team to mentor and coach them; to provide that launchpad into their own careers – while also gleaning from their new ideas and fresh perspectives. We innovate with them.”
“Innovation is always at the forefront of our minds,” agrees Sandeep. “We don’t want to be in the same place we were a year ago. We want to be in a better position, more innovative, more cost efficient, bringing in more revenue – and at some points, just building really cool stuff in general.”
Vice-President, Information Services and Chief Information Officer
Making an impact
“It’s incredibly cool to work on projects that literally power homes and contribute to something that affects people on such a broad scale,” reflects Sandeep. “When I fully realized that some of my colleagues were reaching out to me for assistance, it was almost alarming – could I handle that much responsibility?”
Indeed, he could. One of the exciting initiatives that Sandeep has been working on is the Autonomous Pipeline (APL) project with the U.S. Natural Gas (USNG) team. Sandeep describes the benefits of APL as “unlocking data to predict future levels of pipeline use while giving gas controllers a better visual of the data in one dashboard versus multiple sources.” This ultimately enables “actionable data by merging past and current data to make better, more efficient decisions.”
“Sandeep is a rock star – and I am among many who will echo that,” shared Ron Downie, Manager, Technical Centre Innovation and Digital Research and Development. “He has made a tremendous impact on our team and with our USNG business partners. It is a privilege to have him with us, and he’s certainly got a bright future ahead of him!”
We bring in hundreds of students from across North America each year for work terms with different project teams. Recognizing students offer a fresh perspective, this brings inspiration to teams, especially leaders. The experience students gain with us influences the rest of their education and career paths, whether with us or beyond.
“The great thing about being a student at TC Energy is the access to the many resources you wouldn’t have in school,” says Sandeep. “This experience has given me a clear idea of where I want to go with my career. I’m also lucky to work with fantastic leaders who challenge me to bring my ideas forward and to stay curious.”
With COVID-19 impacting so many events and programs, we are in the fortunate position to continue our Student Program this summer. We virtually welcomed over 200 students in Canada and the U.S. to their work terms earlier this month.
“Don’t be afraid of change,” shares Sandeep. “As a student, our number one objective is to learn as much as possible. See what works well and what doesn’t work well. You might get comfortable after a few months, but then you’re not learning as much as you could be – so get outside of your comfort zone, learn more and develop not only your hard skills but your soft skills as well.”
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