Meet André Bertram, Computer Information Systems student

André Bertram

'College life is not easy but can be wholesome if you surround yourself with the right people, push yourself to do better, and be more involved with your peers and the wider OC community.'

Q: What’s your hometown?

A: Kingston, Jamaica.

Q: How did you end up at Okanagan College?

A: My immediate family settled in the Okanagan Valley for some time now, and I wanted to join them. After some thinking, I thought going to school and contributing to the Canada would be a good approach. I just had to figure out which school. With research, and with some assistance from my older sister and mom, I found that Okanagan College was an excellent institution, especially for international students. So the choice became clear.

Q: How did you choose the Bachelor of Computer Information Systems program?

A: Haha...this took a while and some back and forth. I have a passion for both technology and the human mind. Before leaving Jamaica, I was pursuing a degree in Psychology. But after going through the programs on the OC website, I fell in love with the CIS program and loved the idea of coding and working with computers on a daily basis. I knew this could lead to building the best apps for people to enjoy and benefit from. This idea was truly intriguing. But I couldn't shake my desire to understand the human mind some more. So after a lot of back and forth (four applications), I finally decided to go with CIS. It has been extremely wonderful and rewarding so far!

Q: What is your area of interest?

A: Beside coding and technology, I love nature, psychology, science, physics, math. Generally anything that helps explain the world we live in and how to enhance/modify it.

Q: What do you like most about the program?

A: The sheer pleasure of seeing something you created through coding come to life! It's like you're an Albert Einstein but on a Frankenstein level. Once you get the swing of things, it only gets better. Trust me!

Q: Favourite class experience?

A:  That's a tough one. Honestly my favourite class experience has to be any class experience with Alan Kennedy and Leslie Shayer. I think these two are exceptional teachers at OC, and have really made my experience here memorable.

Q: Who gave you the best advice you ever received?

A: Have you ever heard of the "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" song by Baz Luhrmann? Been listening to it since I was a kid. It's a song chock-full of great life advice. My favourite is "Don't waste your time on jealousy, sometimes you're behind, sometimes you're ahead. The race is long and in the end, it's only with yourself."

Q: What advice do you have for new OC students?

A: Take the time to really embrace this experience. College life is not easy but can be wholesome if you surround yourself with the right people, push yourself to do better, and be more involved with your peers and the wider OC community. Take time out to help others, even if it seems it's not benefiting you, trust me you are. Don't be afraid to ask questions, even the ones that make you feel dumb. You are here to learn and grow, so even when you think you know it all, you don't. And that's why you're here.

Q: What is your favourite thing to do in Canada?

A: Besides hanging out with family and friends, it has to be sightseeing! Canada is a really beautiful country and has some of the most wonderful natural scenery. Hiking through B.C.'s forests is therapeutic and relaxing. A trip to Banff National Park in Alberta last year has to be one of my most memorable experiences since I've been here. It was truly breathtaking. 

Q: What matters most to you right now?

A: Making the most and best of this experience. Which involves finishing my studies at OC and integrating into the wider Canadian societies and communities. Securing an awesome paying job and just keep giving back as much as I can. Finally, just exploring Canada with my friends and family.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?

A: Making useful and helpful apps, working in the Interior as one of the most sought-after developers/programmers, having a family, being a part of the wider B.C. community and just being a better and more wholesome person.

Published By Public Affairs on November 1, 2021


Computer Information Systems Diploma

The Computer Information Systems diploma is a two-year program which includes a broad selection of computing, mathematics, business, and communications courses so graduates can function successfully in a variety of roles in a business organization, high-technology company, or government department. These roles include entry-level positions as computer programmer, programmer/analyst, business systems designer/developer/analyst, web designer/developer and database architect/administrator.

Explore the diploma

Bachelor of Computer Information Systems Degree

The Bachelor of Computer Information Systems degree is a four-year program which includes a broad selection of computing, mathematics, business, and communications courses so graduates can function successfully in a variety of roles in the information technology field.

Explore the degree