“Wherever I go, if I say I’m from George Brown, there will be several people in the room who say ‘oh yes, me too, let’s talk about it’. It’s a great conversation starter.”
Construction Management (for Internationally Educated Professionals) postgraduate program
Bachelor of Applied Technology, Construction Science and Management Program
At George Brown, the professors were highly qualified professionals, they were engineers, they were tradesmen. They had been everywhere, they had seen everything, and the things that they taught me they hold true to this day.
Construction Management Technology Program
Bruno Giancola graduated from the Construction Management Technology Program at George Brown College. His passionate take on construction has allowed him to navigate to the top of his industry. As the vice president of project management at TRIDEL, Bruno is responsible for some of the key construction projects around the city of Toronto. Through his years of experience, and his education, Bruno continues to make his mark on the world of construction as well as maintain his connection to the college through various projects including the hiring of field education students and graduates from the Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies.
Construction Science & Management - T302
“My coop term was the best experience at George Brown!” explains Construction Science & Management graduate Christopher Slatter “It showed that most of the material we learnt is applicable to the construction industry, and taught me skills that can't be learned in the classroom.”
Christopher completed a mandatory co-op work term with Deltera, the construction arm of Tridel. “I was a Site Coordinator where my responsibilities included coordinating work between trades, documentation and filing, quality assurance and control, estimating, and site layout work. Working there was invaluable as it gave me a ton of experience in a short time, and that gave me an edge that employers liked on my resume upon graduation.”
Soon after graduation Christopher secured the position of Construction Specialist at Hatch Ltd. “I used both the Industry Liaison Office and GBCareers to my full advantage during the months leading up to graduation. Using both helped me refine the presentation of myself to companies, and it was through networking that I landed my first full time job!"
Benjamin Valliquette Kissell
Graduate 2013, Bachelor of Applied Technology, Construction Science and Management
Benjamin Valliquette Kissell has played a key role in several high-profile construction projects, including the internationally acclaimed Aga Khan Museum. Ben was a recipient of the Mike Holmes Mike it Right Award, and the 2014 CIOB International Outstanding Achievement Award. He works as Project Manager for the Gillam Group, and serves as Chairman of CIOB Novus Canada. As past Director of the Habitat Campus Coalition, Ben’s efforts had an enormous impact on the growth of affordable housing in Ontario.
Kissell was instrumental in forming an industry partnership between Gillam Group, George Brown and the City of Toronto to implement 3D laser scanning and building information modelling (BIM) on the Toronto Centre for the Arts project. The research, partially funded by a grant from the National Sciences and Engineering Research, provided valuable information for the design and construction team, improving efficiency and reducing project costs.
Construction Science & Management - T302
“The co-op experience prepared me for my career and helped me decide where I wanted to go with my college degree.” explains Bachelor of Applied Technology graduate Blaine Attwood. “By having the co-op term in between semesters, I additionally benefited by connecting my real world work with learning in the classroom”
Blaine completed his mandatory 4 month co-op at ASCO Construction Ltd. “I worked as a Site Safety & LEED Project Coordinator. A typical day would consist of completing daily safety inspections, meeting with health and safety committee members, creating LEED monthly reports & procedures, conducting random safety equipment inspections, and preventing workers from working in unsafe conditions.”
Education never stops for Blaine, who has successfully passed his LEED exam (obtaining LEED Accredited Professional credential status) and is currently enrolled in Ryerson University’s Building Science Masters program. ”Looking further into the future I would someday like to have my own business!”
Construction Engineering Technology - T105
“It is no surprise that many employers in the GTA recognize George Brown College as an industry leader in training & education.” explains Construction Engineering Technology graduate Curtis Kean. “The three years I spent at George Brown College prepared me for the “real world” by providing the basic skills & theory required to enable students to fit into a wide range of positions. The combination of practical, hands on knowledge mixed with the theoretical learning provided all of the skills required to enter the construction industry.”
Curtis is currently employed as an Assistant Superintendent with Eastern Construction where a typical day involves “providing direction to subcontractors, organizing materials, equipment and manpower needed to complete the work as per schedule and ensuring the project complies with all safety, security and clean up programs and policies. Additionally, I am required to participate in weekly foreman's meetings, perform routine safety inspections and collaborate with trade foreman, colleagues, consultants & clients to ensure the successful completion of various projects.”
Education never stops for Curtis, who is currently pursuing his Gold Seal certification through Continuing Education at George Brown College.
Bachelor of Applied Technology
“I have always been fascinated by buildings and construction. I love how they go up and how they come down.”
Jonathan Cohen is a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Applied Technology degree program at George Brown College, a program that just seemed like a natural fit.
“I didn’t even know that I could get a bachelor’s degree from George Brown,” he said. “I was accepted into a number of universities, but a family friend who works in construction suggested I look at George Brown College. I spoke to the faculty and realized it was the right place for me.”
Cohen had always been interested in the business of construction and wanted an education that would position him well for a career in that field. “I wanted to go to college for the practical experience coupled with the theory you would typically get from a degree,” said Cohen. “I knew that I had the option when I was finished of either entering the workforce, or pursuing a degree.”
The teaching style and class size of the program was the right fit for Cohen. “I do very well with intimate class sizes,” he said. “At George Brown College the instructors in the degree program know your name, you can email them and speak to them, and you’re not just a student number.” The instructors, who come from industry, are well connected to the construction sector. This gave Cohen and his classmates access to invaluable resources. “In our summer vacation prior to the start of 4th year we worked “in the field” with construction companies and brought our experiences and questions back into the classroom for discussion.”
The experience was a good one for Cohen and has already proven to be valuable. Since graduating, Cohen has been accepted into a Master’s degree program at Ryerson University in Building Sciences. This degree will allow Cohen to specialize on how buildings operate once they’re built and explore the building science principles necessary to deliver sustainable buildings. Despite this being the first graduating class from the Bachelor of Applied Technology degree program, the George Brown degree was accepted without any issues at all by Ryerson.
In fact, Cohen points out that the degree was highly acknowledged. “I was up against professionals, people who had been working in the industry for years and were coming back to do their master’s,” he said. “The competition was pretty stiff, they took a limited number of students into the program and I was one of them.
Cohen will focus his time at Ryerson on narrowing his field of study. “I have always been interested in the way building works,” he said. “I want to spend my time studying how buildings can operate more efficiently, while minimizing resources needed to keep the structure running safely.” Cohen sees himself working for a building science firm researching new techniques and products for the construction industry.
And after the Master’s? That remains to be seen. “As an ambitious 23 year old I am reluctant to close myself off to opportunities that I have yet to discover. Construction is a broad industry with lots of opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to figuring out where I fit best.”
Construction Engineering Technology – T105
“My most valuable experience at George Brown College was simulating an actual construction company during the third year of the program.” explains Construction Engineering Technology graduate Neil McGovern. “We had to generate everything from permits, to field reports, changes, and even project closeout documentation, taking a ‘construction project’ from start to end, having estimating, planning, and scheduling playing a very close role because like everything else demonstrated in the program, it all comes down to ‘how much?’ and ‘when?’ ”
Neil was concurrently enrolled in the Mattamy Homes Management Certificate program while completing his Construction Engineering Technology diploma. “It was a great experience, and I do believe that a lot more co-op placements should be offered through George Brown, especially in the Industrial - Commercial - Institutional sector.”
Neil is currently employed as a Project Coordinator for PCL Constructors Canada Inc. acting as a liaison between the Owners, Architects, and Trades people. “George Brown College and more specifically the Construction Engineering Technology program, prepared me for the real world by placing me in real world situations. By simulating real world projects that we had to price, contract, control documentation, and closeout, while of course managing ourselves, numerous projects, our groups, and recognizing individual strengths and weaknesses.”
Education never stops for Neil, who’s now sponsored by his company to obtain his Gold Seal Certification as a Site Super. “Whether it be self education, sponsored by my work, or even a course on the side - once you stop learning, you stop growing!”
Dominic John Samuel Liscio
Construction Engineering Technology – T105
“The word ‘Typical’ can not be used in part of my description of a day at work” explains Construction Engineering Technology graduate Dominic John Samuel Liscio. “There is no such thing as a typical day. That is part of what makes my job so great, each day is filled with new tasks and challenges to overcome. My work day can range from ordering material, price changes, managing labour, producing schedules, organizing any subtrades and hopefully in the end make some money!”
Upon graduation Dominic started working immediately at an 860 Mega Watt natural gas-fuelled combined cycle co-generation power plant called Goreway Station. “My primary function on that particular project was to track progress and monitor productivity of the 300+ electricians on site.”
Dominic is currently employed as a Project Coordinator with Black & McDonald Ltd. managing several electrical projects located in the downtown core. “One rewarding part of my job is the surprised looks on people’s faces once I meet people face to face, as most of my dealings are via email or phone. People always tend to think I am an older person and when they meet me for the first time I always tend to take people off guard. There are not too many 22 year olds that are running multiple projects on their own. It’s a good feeling!”
Construction Engineering Technology – T105
"I received my civil engineering bachelor degree back in my home country before moving to Canada. I decided to update my Canadian knowledge to be ready for employment in Ontario and I was looking for a college like George Brown to help me achieve all I was looking for" states Bing Ma who graduated from the Construction Engineering Technology program. “The program allowed me to know the in’s and out’s of the Canadian construction industry quick!”
Soon after graduation, Bing secured a position with Aecon Construction Group as a Senior Estimator where he spends his days interpreting project drawing specifications, assessing contract documents, preparing detailed cost estimates of construction requirements, assembling tender packages, selecting sub-contractors, and negotiating change orders and the assessment of claims.
For Bing, “the most rewarding part of my job is a sense of pride and satisfaction that comes from a successful implementation, securing and winning a project!”
Heating, Refrigeration and A/C Technician - T100
Ben Joyce was working at a call centre signing people up for credit cards when he decided that he wasn't happy. After completing two years of university studying history he was unsure of his career options.
"I also knew I didn't want to do the office grind, every single day. I work well with my hands, so I started looking for a job that would allow me to do that, and give me freedom from the boredom of the office world."
Ben had heard good things about George Brown College from friends, and started looking through the college website.
"When I was working at the call centre, I was trained for my job in a couple of days, so I knew I could be replaced just as fast," says Ben. "I was looking for something where I'd be trained in a recognized and specialized skill set, like a plumber or electrician."
Mitchell De Sousa
Construction Engineering Technology Program - T105
Being brought up in Canada by Portuguese immigrant parents, Mitchell De Sousa was always pushed to “do better”, to pursue post secondary education & not to settle for anything less than success.
It had been three years since Mitchell graduated from high school and he had just been laid off from his job working at an aluminium plant. “I was a little depressed & thought to myself there has got to be a better way, there has to be something out there for me." He walked over to George Brown College the next day and registered for the Construction Engineering Technology program.
Mitchell’s field placement at Aecon Buildings opened the door for employment with the company for two years upon his graduation. “It was my first exposure to the real world, and it reinforced my ambition to enter the construction industry.”
Mitchell is currently a Construction Estimator for PCL Constructors Canada Inc. working on a Design/Build P3 Project. “The most rewarding part of my job is that life in general is way better. Having a good career and making a good income takes a lot of stress off and has lead to better quality of life for me and my family.”
“I really do consider going to George Brown one of the best decisions & investments I have ever made in my life”