“Thank you again for your support and hard work to make this happen” – Stephen Sowinsky
Stephen moved from Montreal in 2009 with a big dream of being an animator and graphic designer. Being from out of town, Stephen was far away from his loving and supportive family and in a foreign place where he had no social connections or network in place. He had a diploma in Fine Arts and a degree in Art Education but could only land temporary warehouse jobs for four years before deciding to seek help.
In February 2013, Stephen had been laid off from his final warehouse position. He came to Whalley Employment Services Centre to find out more information about services and resources that could help him get in his desired field. He shared with us his vision and dreams with our employment specialists and they helped him rediscover the possibilities of employment and self employment.
“The challenge I faced in finding work was that I was from another province with no business connections to anyone to guide me on what opportunities were out there in BC market”
His employment counselor gave him a lead for a funded Job Creation Partnership (JCP) opportunity with Mountainview Breeding and Conservation Society. The position was targeted for educators to gain hands-on experience in developing, delivering and marketing educational programs on conservation and biodiversity here in BC. Stephen was selected as a successful candidate and worked on this contract from Jun 2013 to Feb 2014. Through this partnership program he was able to gain immense industry exposure, confidence, professional network, encouragement and support to start his own business in Video Production and Animation Services.
After the program, Stephen returned to his counselor to seek support in self employment. With careful review of his plan, strengths in his field and the network of professionals he had developed during his work experience, he was referred to the WorkBC Self Employment program where he learned how to develop and implement a business plan and launch. He has recently completed the 48 weeks self employment program while running his business that provides videography for other profit and non-profit businesses. He is also in process of developing an animated children's program, which has received attention from several countries. He has worked hard to develop strategic partnerships with established companies and is working together with them on other similar projects.
Stephen proudly shares his story with those who seek inspiration and look forward to have their own business and says
“It has not always been easy from start to finish throughout my experience but the people at WorkBC have always had a kind ear and moral integrity to guide me through every obstacle I have faced.”