Varinder Singh is a second-year Human Resources student set to graduate this spring. Varinder is an avid volunteer in the CNC community and is being recognised for his work.
Damon: So Varinder, I was wondering if you could introduce yourself?
Varinder: My name is Varinder Singh, and I am a graduate from Khalsa College from Ludhiana, India. The college I used to be at was famous for its cultural activities and they were handled by me during my tenure there. After completing my bachelors, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go from there. I was pushed towards working a government job, but I felt that I was too comfortable and needed to test myself. I wanted to see what I could achieve if I stepped out of my comfort zone, that’s the reason I came to Canada. I came to Prince George specifically because I love towns that aren’t too crazy, and I love the nature that surrounds here. I would much rather be here as opposed to Toronto, Vancouver. I love it here, I even enjoy the snow. Sometimes it’s difficult to drive and leave your home, but love all things related to the environment here.
Damon: Why did you choose to enroll in the Human Resources program?
Varinder: I have previously graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, and when choosing CNC I saw that there were post-diploma programs and HR was really good for me. It included a lot of previous skills that I developed in India with my experiences there.
Damon: It’s definitely a good choice, what are your plans for after you finish?
Varinder: Initially, it was to be an event organiser. However, when I got here I got very interested in operational health and safety. I noticed that when my courses started covering that, I started to look at things differently. I began seeing the minor mistakes that could cause serious injuries, and I hope to get into occupational health and safety.
Damon: Are there any standout moments during your time here at the college?
Varinder: Well, in CNC there are many moments. Many of my experiences began when I started volunteering with the International Education department. It made me feel really good that when I came to CNC, they not only were very welcoming to international students, but they were really trying to help with their growth. When people put in the time to welcome international students, when they are called to volunteer or be interviewed, it’s really motivating. I feel motivated when I see my peers volunteer and work with these departments.
Damon: I have always been motivated by international students. It is quite something when you see people taking a risk, moving across the world to accomplish their goals. It shows me that we can do anything!
Varinder: Oh yes, for sure. Everything is possible here if they dedicate their time to improving themselves. It is not an easy process, but when you keep going and continue your studies you can accomplish a lot. When you get more involved in positive movements, good things will happen to you. You meet a lot of people, make a lot of friendships. It’s how I met Jaspreet.
Damon: Ah yes.
Varinder: We started out as friends, and after spending time together doing our studies we developed a relationship. Now we’re committed to each other and hoping to get engaged within this next year. Good things happen for good people.
Damon: That’s an amazing story, and a great message. You have really accomplished a lot during your time here, and I believe you can really inspire a lot of people with your story.
Varinder: I am really happy to hear that, I want us all to be better.
Damon: Is there any advice that you can give to your peers? Anything you wish to say?
Varinder: One of the major issues these days for International Students is fights and violence within the indian student community. It’s hard to watch. We should focus on our studies, creating positive opportunities and making friends, not enemies. When I came to CNC, I noticed immediately that it was much more peaceful here than elsewhere. When you see that sort of thing here, it’s heartbreaking to me. My message to my fellow students is that we have travelled a lot way into a new country, we should be making new friends and memories. India is a really diverse country as well, and we are united. We should show that same strength here in Canada. We should make friends, we should divulge ourselves into other cultures. If we are coming here, we should give something to this country to show that we are a positive influence. This is my advice. We should always work for the development of this country. This country is giving us an opportunity, and we should give back.
Damon: That’s a very powerful message.
Varinder: I also have advice for the college. Sometimes, people don’t want to get involved with fights. But there is a group of people who are always looking to fight, and often there are innocent people who don’t want any part of it. It’s hard seeing innocent people feel like they have no options other than to retaliate. Getting into fights is not a joke, and there are good people who are putting their education in danger to try and stop the harassment. My hope is that the college can put together a system to show international students things they can do instead of violence, to show people that they can reach out to. There are people who are new to Canada, and don’t understand the systems that are in place. I want people to look into a strategy on how to communicate with these people, as there are some who need help. There are people who don’t know where to go.
Damon: This is not a comfortable topic for many people. It takes a strong person to bring it forward and you’re really brave for doing so.
Varinder: That’s what I’ve experienced here. I have seen parties that don’t want to be involved but they don’t think that there is any choice. There have been good people who have been deported who were pushed to make choices that they didn’t want to do. It makes me really sad. Something has to be done to make this college safer.