Coming Full Circle
Gas technician goes from employee to employer with the help of George Brown
When Mahdi Jahanshahi arrived in Canada from Iran in November 2004, he was faced with a tough decision. The mechanical engineer could remain in his field, which would mean going back to school full-time in order to earn certification in his new country, or he could switch to a career in the trades and start working faster.
“From a job-opportunity perspective, I determined it would be better for me to work in the trades,” he says. “And, for me, the choice of where to learn a trade was easy. George Brown is a well-known college and has a great reputation for gas technician training.”
Mahdi began gas technician classes through Continuing Education in the fall of 2005. Less than a year later, he had completed six courses: Gas Technician IIA and Gas Technician IIB, Gas Technician III, CFCs Control, Refrigeration I (now called Refrigeration and Residential Air Conditioning I) and Refrigeration II.
“To say I was satisfied with my Continuing Education experience at George Brown would be an understatement,” he says. “The teachers helped me a lot and definitely went above and beyond – it never seemed like they were just doing their job. I’ve already recommended the courses to three of my friends.”
Mahdi was able to secure a job immediately after earning his license in January 2006.
“I sent out my resumé and got a job at National Air Systems, where I was responsible for installation and service,” Mahdi says. “It was a great experience. I enjoyed every minute of it, and I’m thankful for the
experience and the opportunity.”
In November 2009, Mahdi further expanded his career when he left National Air Systems (the only job he had known in Canada) and opened his own business: Eco-Tech Mechanical. He is quick to recognize how much he benefited from the well-rounded approach each course took to skill development.
“Each and every day on the job, I draw on the lessons from George Brown,” Mahdi says. “The courses definitely prepared me for work – everything I learned in class has helped me, and is helping me, in my career.”
Illustrating just how far he has come since arriving in his new country, the 40-year-old now does some contract work with his former employer. But Mahdi isn’t resting on his achievements. He plans to expand his business to include design services and says that a return to George Brown is definitely in his future.
“I want to offer additional services to my clients,” he says. “So I will, most certainly, be taking Hydronic Heating through Continuing Education at George Brown.”
Having come full circle, from employee to employer, Mahdi views his experience at George Brown College as critical to his success.
“I’ve been given a great opportunity in my new country, and I’m very grateful for it,” he says. “And I’m thankful for those who have helped me along the way – especially George Brown College. Everything
I have here in Canada I got from George Brown.”