Volodymyr (Vlad) is on track to complete his one-year diploma in Network Administration. He is working on improving our networking and implementing an organziation-wide VOIP (Voice-over-IP) phone system as part of a 5-week work placement upon graduation from CDI college. We are grateful for Vlad's contributions, and wish him all the best in his IT career!
While 23-year Vlodymyr S's (Vlad for Short) official role involves configuring IP phones and troubleshooting network routing, Clubhouse has become more than just a unique workplace on his career path in IT. The Ukrainian-born Network Administrator-in-training has connected with members on their mental health journeys, learned new things about what he wants in a workplace, and is hopeful that Clubhouse is headed for a windfall of growth and community support.
Before starting, Vlad immediately saw Clubhouse as an opportunity. “It has been complicated to find placements in network administration in Winnipeg because offices require 3-5 years of experience and more certifications that I don’t have yet. I understood there wouldn’t be a lot of highly structured work tasks, so I would have time to understand how everything works as an organization, especially when it comes to Network administration – all the systems, software, internet, VOIP, etcetera.”
To be honest, I feel like Clubhouse is motivating me.
Vlad explains that he got connected with IT professionals at Hewlett-Packard in the Ukraine who encouraged him to embrace unique out-of-the-box stepping stones on his career path. “They were like superstars. They told me all these amazing stories about how they achieved their careers.” Vlad moved to Winnipeg age 17 to finish high school in Canada and has worked in auto detailing, sales, and [customer?] service. After spending some time exploring business at the University of Manitoba, he rekindled his long-time interest in IT with a Network Administration degree at CDI college.
Beyond the work experience, Clubhouse’s focus on mental health has also made an impression. “I didn’t hear a lot about mental health in the Ukraine, and as soon as I came to Canada, I started to learn more. During covid, like many people I became overstressed, and I started talking to a therapist, and she helped me a lot.” To Vlad, the interactive social element of Clubhouse is compelling. “To be honest, I feel like Clubhouse is motivating me. I would say everyone has [mental health struggles], but it depends whether or not you share them and how much you let them control your life. The atmosphere here is always going to be friendly and accepting and that makes a huge difference.
We need more places like Clubhouse in Canada... I think many businesses could be interested in partnering with us.
Vlad points out his past Winnipeg employers have shown considerable interest in partnerships with non-profits, and he suspects Clubhouse is well positioned to take advantage of this and grow its capacity. “We need more places like this in Canada. Mental health is important for every person, and Clubhouse’ mission is easy to understand. When I was doing phone calls to try to get sponsorships [for charity events at the places I’ve worked], it was hard to explain their mission, and people weren’t interested. With Clubhouse, I can explain that mental health is important, that government funding is tight, and exactly how donations will be used. I think many businesses could be interested in partnering with us.”
When asked what he will miss, a grin immediately forms on his face. “The first thing is the schedule. 7:45am to 3pm? This is my dream. I like myself more when I have structure and balance. And I’ll really will miss staff and all of the members. At my last jobs, you had to either stand for 12 hours or work super hard with customers just to get a deal. But the atmosphere here is like sun shining.”