I grew up in India and moved to Canada three years ago. In India I was working as a site engineer. At some point, I realized that there is not much big difference between the site engineer and the surveyor, so I thought I should become a surveyor. But when I came to Canada, to Montreal, I couldn’t get the admission into the civil engineering field because of an admission issue and then COVID, so I had to do something else. I studied finance management.
When I was working in a financial management job, it is the same every day, right? Every day, we have to go into the office. I don’t really like it. I prefer field work because I like to meet new people every day, to learn about the culture, learn about the people. So I thought I’d come to BC and try to be a surveyor again.
I moved here, where I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t have any friends in Vancouver, and I had left my family. It was hard.
I got an assistant surveyor job on the Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project. That’s the first step. When I joined this project, I met my crews. They are really, really friendly. After a couple of months, I had a very good experience. It is fantastic on the weekends, because they have pizza and doughnuts and coffee here all the time. That’s a cool thing about this project – we are working together.
I like to meet new people every day, to learn about the culture and the people that I work with. There are a lot of people with other cultures on the project. We are able to share our cultures with each other to learn about each other and what they think about this project. I like BCIB culture too. The way BCIB grows that culture, it is like everyone is united. Everyone is working together all of the time. That’s the most important thing, I would say: people can learn on this project to know each other and help each other.
When I was a kid, I remember when I saw the surveyors holding a tripod. I thought they were camera men. Now, I see a lot of people who are walking by us and they also want to know what we are doing. It is really cool to see people interested in the work that we are doing.
It is one year since I joined. I worked three months as an assistant surveyor, and then they put me as a junior surveyor so I could learn more things and try get more familiar with the site and how it works as a surveyor. Then my bosses realized I learned a lot and they gave me a promotion to a Surveyor II.
Surveying, I feel I have learned a lot, especially on the Patullo Bridge because this project is huge, right? The Patullo Bridge is very exciting to do every day. There are new jobs and we are figuring out new stuff every day. I also believe that I have a responsibility on the site. I am giving location and actual field data to the foreperson and the field engineer so they can make a plan.
And the money is pretty good, too. I can afford my own place now. And it is not normal in construction to get to live close to where you work. So, for me, it is very great opportunity. I was lucky that I got a job on the Pattullo Bridge by BCIB because I’m living 10 to 15 minutes away. So, it’s a big benefit that I can do overtime and I can go straight home all the time when I finished my work. I don’t need to take like one or two hours and that is a big difference for me.
This project will help my new community when this bridge is completed. It’s going to help the people around these areas and around this province. I’m really glad that I’m a part of this because I when I go with my family I tell them, I did this job. When you help a project grow up, it is something like your child, right?
Dhrupal is a Surveyor II on the Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project.