Sateana Goupil has always been fascinated with electricity, so when he had the opportunity to become an electrician he took it.
Goupil is from Iqaluit, Nunavut, and has lived in various places in Canada and the U.S., such as Quebec, Ontario, Kansas, Connecticut, and more.
Goupil works as an electrician, and says he had always been fascinated with electricity since it is used in everyday life. He became interested in the trade when he was living in Wichita, Kansas, where his partner at the time had a family friend that worked at a construction electrical company.
Knowing he wanted to get into the trade, he used his family and friends network and was able to start an electrical apprenticeship.
“When I was presented with the opportunity, I started off as green as you could be. And they had me digging trenches. And eventually helping out setting up the circuitry, inside three separate buildings,” said Goupil.
“At that construction site, I was able to learn how to do an equivalent of residential applications, and commercial, and industrial electrical wiring.”
But before he became an electrician, Goupil played junior hockey in Ottawa when a former coach offered an opportunity for him where he was able to go for a 10 game try-out in Danbury, Connecticut.
Through networking, he was able to meet Todd Stirling, who ran Puck Masters, a master’s hockey school and through communicating with him, he was able to head to Connecticut.
“After the 10 game trial, I had outplayed the other rookies on the team, and they decided to keep me for the remainder of the year. And through the travels in the US, I was able to also go to Bloomington, Illinois, Wichita, Kansas, Laredo, Texas, and Alexandra Bay, New York,” said Goupil.
He says those experiences helped him learn not only about himself but also about the different types of cultures within one country.
“I’m grateful for those opportunities. And I feel that recently, having received my Journeyman electrical ticket, I’ve been able to reflect and appreciate the experiences a little more,” said Goupil.
Even though Goupil has had an interesting journey, it’s one that has also been met with obstacles.
For Goupil, one of the major obstacles was moving away from his father and stepmother’s home. He says he found that challenging at first, because it was hard to find a new normal in a setting he wasn’t familiar with.
He says that while being in Connecticut enabled him to be away from home, it was also a seven-hour drive for his father to come see him, which helped ease the anxiousness he was feeling.
Goupil also says when playing hockey, growing up he was used to playing people within a three to four year age gap but was all of a sudden playing against men with that were sometimes 10–12 years older than him.
“You realize that these, your new peers at that point are more mature. They’re stronger. They’re mentally fit. And they’re capable of staying consistent,” said Goupil.
“I found that was one of the things that was the most challenging. Trying to be consistent while learning to be comfortable away from everything that I was used to.”
Goupil is still involved in hockey and coaches children. He feels he was very fortunate to be given opportunities to play on high-level teams and learn from excellent coaches during his career, so he felt it was important to give back.
“It’s fulfilling to be able to see some of the traits you’re wishing to pass on to those you’re coaching. I feel that sport is so powerful. And it enables the youth to hone in on some life skills that they’ll use later on,” said Goupil.
“You’re trying to teach concepts and systems, but ultimately, you’re preparing the youth for their future jobs, and trying to teach them some of the values that you were taught growing up.”
And for people thinking of leaving their community for post-secondary or a career, Goupil encourages anyone to chase their dreams.
“Be passionate about what you choose to do. If it is a path through college or university, recognize that your family will be there. Many of the things that you enjoy doing at home, cherish those moments when you have an opportunity to go.”
Special thanks to Jasmine Kabatay for authoring this blog post.
Future Pathways Fireside Chats are a project of TakingITGlobal's Connected North Program.
Funding is generously provided by the RBC Foundation in support of RBC Future Launch, and the Government of Canada's Supports for Student Learning program.