Russell McCullum
Russell McCullum

Russell McCullum

Hometown: Delisle, SK 
Band: Thunderchild First Nation 
Program: Electrical Engineering Technology diploma  

When it came time to settle on a career direction, Russell followed his gut. "I've always liked electrical work. I considered being an engineer but decided to take the more hands-on program at Sask Polytech," the First Nations man says. 

When he graduated from the Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) program in 2020, Russell already had a job. He credits the program's co-operative work terms with giving his career a jumpstart. The EET program includes three mandatory work terms, and Russell spent all three working at an electrical testing company in Edmonton. The same company offered him a job after graduation.

The road to this successful career launch wasn't always easy. "I struggled with finances the first two semesters. With the help of student awards and financial services, I was able to overcome these barriers," Russell says. "I also accessed other student services. They all helped me focus on classwork rather than financial or other needs. It definitely helped take off the stress." 

For Russell, Sask Polytech has been a good experience. "I like the people here. From classmates to instructors, they are all very helpful, patient and understanding." 

Does he have any advice for future students? "Don't be afraid to ask for help. Try to stay on top of your workload. Have a goal that can be changed. Take steps one day at a time. And if you're on the edge of a big decision," Russell says, "taking that first step is never the wrong option."