Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Alumni Spotlight with Bert Dicks

Where and when were you born?

I was born in St. John’s on November 18, 1967.

What is your current job and list some things you like about it?

My current role is Senior Manager of Hardware Development at Hexagon A&P. What I enjoy about this position is the opportunity to to develop best in class, high precision positioning solutions for agriculture, defense, marine and autonomous vehicles. In addition to technology development, I really enjoy developing and managing high performance engineering teams.

How does it relate to your diploma or certificate?

Completing the Electronic Engineering Technology (Communications) program gave me the technical foundation that enabled my entire career. When I graduated, I knew I wanted to work in the field of wireless technology, and I had an excellent knowledge base and felt prepared to join that industry.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your lifetime?

Newfoundlanders passionately love their homeland. The hardest thing for me was to leave the island, then return only to leave again.My family and I wanted to make a life in Newfoundland, but the opportunities were limited at the time. As I approach the end of my working life, I do not regret the moves. Much (not all) of what you experience in life is the result of personal decisions. I learned something about what I want out of life each time.

What’s your favourite place in the world?

On-board my sailboat in Mexico.

Can you describe an experience that changed your life?

The birth of my daughter. Being a parent brings a wonderful new dimension to your life in ways you cannot anticipate.

What’s your favourite movie or book?

I’m a big fan of the Cohen brothers’ movies. The Big Lebowski being my favourite. I don’t read for pleasure much these days, but a standout for me is Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. It is an eye-opening account of what can and does happen on Mt. Everest.

Is your current career path as you originally intended?

Yes and no. I am working in the wireless industry that I had anticipated, but not in the role I expected. I didn’t realize that I wanted to become a leader and develop those skills. I find technical management to be very fulfilling.

What challenges did you face in launching your career?

Moving away from home was challenging. Once I was resettled, some good things started to happen, but having to spend time away from my spouse while working in the Arctic was a challenging first job.

What advice would you give to your CNA first-year self?

You may be asking yourself “What did I get myself into?”, or “Is this right for me?”. Trust your judgement and complete what you set out to do. Your education is something you will leverage in many ways in the future. Make sure it is solid.

Ryanne McIsaac
Ryanne McIsaac
Born and raised in Stephenville, NL, Ryanne recently moved back to Newfoundland after spending 16 years in Calgary, Alberta. Ryanne has a Journalism Diploma from College of the North Atlantic and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cape Breton University. She worked for many years as a reporter and freelance writer. She is happy to be back in her hometown and working for CNA.

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Last month, we held a mail-out contest to help clean up our alumni data. Alumni who met specific criteria were given a chance to win a Dyson vacuum. Congratulations to our winner, Marie, and thank you to everyone who entered and helped clean up our data! #collegeyourway #MyCNA

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