R&I alumna now proud NC employee

Priya Kaur is a 2021 graduate of Niagara College’s Computer Programming program. She worked with the Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre as a Research Assistant. She is now working at Niagara College in the Information Technology Services division as a Programmer Analyst. As a Computer Programmer, Priya is adept at databases, interactive multimedia and software development and understands the digital world. 

Tell us about where you work.

I began my career working as a Developer at Cedric Millar Integrated Solutions in Mississauga. Recently though, I joined the Niagara College Information Technology Services division as Programmer Analyst.

What year did you graduate and what program?

I graduated from the Computer Programming program in 2021.

What led you to want to go to Niagara College in the first place?

One of my friends recommended me to apply to Niagara College as it provides one of the best courses in programming and networking. This friend even got his first job in Canada before completing his networking diploma.

When did you work with Research & Innovation? Years and what was your role?

I worked with Research & Innovation in 2021 as a Computer Programming Research Assistant.

Describe your current job and what you like about it.

I recently started as a Programmer Analyst at Niagara College. In my role, I work closely with users and support staff to resolve system problems, upgrade existing functionality, and implement new modules along with administering existing customizations. I have to analyze, develop, test, and document programs or changes as specified by the users. I’m working with an experienced team, which will benefit me in growing my career.

How has your experience with Research & Innovation helped prepare you for your current role?

I was very fortunate to get an opportunity to work with Research & Innovation. This experience allowed me to gain confidence and real-world work experience. The role added value to my portfolio during my studies which led me to secure my first full-time job in Canada as an Application Developer.

A memorable applied research project during your time at R&I?

A memorable applied research project that I played a support role on was SoilOptix®. I’m sure this project was hallmarked because the main student leads on the project were eventually hired by the company.

Do you have any special memories during your time as a student at NC?

During my exciting time as an NC student, I was also expecting my first child, so I would say that was the best memory.

Do you have a mentor who influenced you?

Yes, my husband (Najuf), who is also a Niagara College student, is my mentor. He keeps my morale high and is always supportive, wanting to see me thrive for excellence.

“This experience allowed me to gain confidence and real-world work experience. The role added value to my portfolio during my studies which led me to secure my first full-time job in Canada as an Application Developer.”

What advice would you give to a current student?

The advice I would give to a current student would be to not only focus on getting good grades and passing your courses, but also try to be innovative. Share knowledge and try to help and provide peer tutor classes to those who are struggling with courses. Time management is also crucial. You need to manage your time well – if you’re working, try to make a balance with your work and study.

After being in the workforce, what have you learned?

Now that I’ve been in the workforce, I have learned different technologies and gained experience on how to interact with colleagues and vendors. Most importantly, I learned how to have a proper work-life balance.

What do you do in your personal time?

Cooking is my passion; I love to try different cuisines and I love to play badminton.

Proudest achievement since graduating?

My proudest achievement since graduating is receiving a recognition award at my previous organization during my first year working there.

If you could have a billboard message seen by many, what would it say?

Save the Earth – save it for the next generation!