Impact Story: Internationally Educated Professional Perspective

Abhishek Udawat is not inclined to wait around for opportunities to find him. After earning a bachelor of science degree at home in India, he went to the United Kingdom for his master’s, spent three years as a research assistant in Malaysia working on palm oil waste biofuel, tested entrepreneurial waters back in India by founding a travel company and an e-commerce business, then fell in love with a Canadian and decided he would jet across the ocean to make his home here.

He knew he wanted to work for a start-up, where he could have multiple roles and gain insight into how to run a successful small business. Realizing opportunities would be limited in the small city where his partner lived, he did extensive research and preparation before leaving India. When he found out about BioTalent Canada’s BioSkills Recognition Program, he immediately submitted his ePortfolio to start the process of becoming BioReady.

The right connections

“I sent in all my paperwork, but I had my doubts,” Udawat says. “It all seemed too easy, like there had to be a catch.”

The catch never came. Through his partner’s connections, Udawat got in touch with the New Canadians Centre, where a counsellor connected him to a few promising opportunities. With his BioReady recognition prominently displayed on his resume and online job profile, he quickly secured a job with food bioculture company Noblegen — thanks in part to the funding of the BioReady Paid Internship Program.

Udawat started as a plant operator in Noblegen’s production facility and impressed the company’s co-founder with his ability to understand the processes and even suggest improvements.

“The internship was really helpful,” says Udawat. “It helped me get my foot in the door and gave me the Canadian stamp of approval that my international experience didn’t.”

Creating his own opportunities

Today, Udawat is Noblegen’s Lead Fermentation Technician, supervising a cross-functional team of 10 that works closely with multiple departments, including research and development, engineering, and maintenance.

Looking forward, he hopes to keep building his career in the food production industry, eventually starting his own company.
“It’s a really exciting field with lots of opportunity,” he says, pointing to the growing awareness of what people are eating and how it affects the environment, which is leading to greater interest in developing more sustainable alternatives — from consumers, food producers and investors. “But for now, I’m going to keep learning as much as I can.”