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Alumni News

Powerful Partnerships

May 09, 2013

The connections alumni make as students often lead to opportunities down the road. This was certainly the case for Jose Luis Andrade (Computer Science Technology, 2009) who forged a partnership with fellow grad Chris Mihalicz (2004) whom he met during a co-op placement with pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline. Still working on joint ventures as a software developer with Chris’ company ThreePointTurn Inc., Jose is also running his own firm, AlphaQuantum which he opened soon after graduation. 

A full plate, to be sure, however, Jose is energized by the fast pace. “As technology is changing, so are the demands for companies to upgrade their systems. Needless to say, this keeps me busy but I enjoy the challenges this presents.” 

What gave Jose the confidence to branch out on his own right away? “Through the co-op program, I was able to network within various companies,” he says. “I was fortunate to have met people in the industry who shared their experiences and knowledge from both the technical and small business development aspects.” 

Along the way, Jose learned the value of strong communications skills as well as tech-smarts. “Although it is important to have top technical knowledge, it is equally as important to be able to interact with others when operating your own company. Building relationships and networking has helped me advance my career just as much as my skillset as a software developer,” he says. 

Jose’s IT education began in his native Ecuador where he finished his first year of computer engineering at university before moving to Canada in 2005 to study English and further his career. He enrolled in the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program at Sheridan. “I saw great potential in the college and decided to pursue further studies there.” 

A Programming Excellence Award winner in his graduating year, Jose regularly updates his skills, something he advises new alumni to do. “Continue to upgrade so you’re current and marketable. It’s important to be able to adapt. It’s a challenging environment, but don’t get discouraged. Continue to follow your passion.”