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Asian Star- Sandeep Bajaj

Village/Country parent’s background

I was born in Banga, a small town of Saheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Punjab, India. My father was Math’s teacher and retired as a Block Educational Officer in Punjab’s State Education Department and my mother was a house wife who had completed her Higher Secondary education which was commendable for girl child in those days.

Your Early Education:

 My early education took place at Sri Guru Hargobind Khalsa High School Banga, where I completed grade 10, and got directly accepted in a Degree Program of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. 

When & Why You Came to Canada

 I came to Canada as a permanent resident about 24 years ago as an Agricultural Scientist to explore the possibilities of higher education, and started my Canadian journey in Mississauga, Ontario. Life was indeed very challenging without cash, a car, cell phone and computer, as these items were crucial and basic necessities to sustain and grow.

 Your career development and present occupation

 While, I bounced around many careers in my life, I view all those experiences as assets, as they have allowed me to enrich and cultivate my future. During my lifetime in India and Canada, I got an opportunity to work at many places and in various roles; I’ve served as a Research Associate, Assistant Professor, Extension Worker, Cycling Coach, General Laborer, School Teacher, Program Director in Education, Investor, Construction Project Manager, and Business, Marketing and Office Manager. 

I completed my Masters of Science from Punjab Agricultural University, India and served PAU as an Assistant Professor for about five years before I migrated to Canada permanently in 1999. Upon arrival here in Canada I worked as General Laborer, Line and Group Leader in ABC Group of Companies. While working my survival jobs here in Canada, I started taking evening classes in Accounting at Humber and Sheridan College, and registered with Certified General Accountants of Ontario to become a Certified General Accountant. My passion for teaching encouraged me to apply to Ontario Universities to become a Certified Teacher. I got accepted to the University of Windsor Ontario, where I completed my Bachelors of Education in 2006. To add additional qualifications in my backpack, I completed the, “Teaching Effectiveness Certificate” from Humber Arts & Technology, and obtained additional basic qualifications to teach “Gifted & Challenged” students, and “Senior Division Mathematics” from University of Toronto. I served as Teacher at the Calgary Board of Education; while also serving as a Teacher in a Private School system in Canada. Likewise, my professional career took another turn about 8 years ago when I learned and built a Dental Practice for my wife who is Dentist in which I played the role of Project Manager and Construction Coordinator. I manage Clinic on day to day basis. Having said that, my passion for teaching is still alive, as once you are a Teacher, you are always a Teacher. One of my recent efforts are to spread awareness among the community about Childhood Cancer. I participated in the Great Cycling Challenge, Canada and biked about 2100 kilometers in the month of August 2021/2022 to raise funds for Sick Kids. $51400/- raised will be used for Childhood Cancer Research and Treatment. Great Cycling Challenge Canada placed me 3rd in Canada for my fundraising efforts for this noble cause.

Your Regret in Life

Life is a puzzle but we need to enjoy the journey while resolving each bit of it, our life does not always unfold with ease but rather offer full of challenges. These challenges add to variety of sweet and bitter experiences, sometimes we start considering these bitter experiences as our regrets, but I believe these bitter experiences teach us life lessons to become strong and successful in the future. Life is rough, but we need to be tough to enjoy the pleasure of the journey. 

Pick Any One of Your Best Achievements

The sense of love and respect I gained and gaining from members of my community by supporting humanity being in different roles is my best achievement. When I was very young, I bagged Gold in the Punjab State Cycling Championship (on a Desi Cycle) while competing with riders competing on foreign bicycles; this achievement made me confident to try new things to explore my untapped potentials and conquer.

Were You Ever Discriminated?

 I am grateful that I have never been discriminated on any grounds during my student, personal, and professional life at any of the places I lived in.

Are You Happy in Canada?

 Yes, Canada is a country that embraces Multiculturalism, which has a pool of diverse cultural values and rituals to enjoy and learn. I am very happy and grateful that I am living in such a beautiful country which has offered me with plenty of opportunities to explore, excel, and helped me grow personally and professionally. I am also thankful to my home country, India where I acquired the fundamentals to achieve a successful life.

Any Comments on Canada’s Culture

 The best part of Canada’s culture is that it embraces diversity as residents are free to practice their own culture, rituals and religion with freedom. It is important to learn about Canadian values, exercise our rights without forgetting our duties towards others.

Any Comments on Canada’s Weather

I do not like very harsh cold weather, but I enjoy all other seasons, especially Alberta’s beautiful summers and colorful fall season. But during very cold winter days I think of it as an opportunity to spend quality indoor time to read, watch, and cook with my family.

What Brought You Success in Canada?

 I like to think of my success as a cocktail blend of personal and professional successes, I believe “a balance” in personal and professional life is the key element to my success. Success can only be measured by what is achieved as a team.  My wife’s encouragement at every step of my life is also another crucial ingredient to my success. I strongly believe that my consistent and persistent efforts to attain any new knowledge are the key factors of my success as well. There is no substitute to hard work. Whatever I committed, I gave my 100 percent to it and worked diligently and persistently to attain that goal. I always accept feedback in a positive manner from others, and incorporate suggestions to make myself a better person and professional.

Are You Willing to Help New Immigrants and How?

 Most definitely, I always do, I am always available to educate others and share the variety of skillsets and experiences I have.

Your Message for Canadians of Asian Origins:

Educate yourself and your children well, education is must in todays’ and tomorrows’ knowledge based economy. Find time to cook for yourself to eat healthy and include your kids while cooking to model and educate them, so they can pass on this culture to the next generations. Include any kind of physical exercise in your routine. Always give back to your society and community for personal contentment and without any expectations in return. Stay happy and do efforts to fill others bucket with happiness whenever you get a chance. Spend time with your family and friends. Love, respect and nurture the nature as we are just a small part of nature.   At last but not least, develop a positive attitude, know your limits, set your boundaries, collect all of your hidden courage and potential which will enable you to reach pinnacle. Yes and yes we all can do it; if we work honestly and diligently Best Wishes to do best!

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