Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Douglas College student sets sights on space

David Denofreo photo



Julian Jones has his career goals set high.

Sky high, in fact.

The 20-year-old Douglas College student - who plans to become an engineer - hopes to pursue a career in aeronautics with NASA or Space-X.

“It seems like a stretch, but it’s not,” Jones said, noting engineering grads from Canadian institutions are in demand throughout North America. “I don’t know if I would be able to be an astronaut, but to be able to contribute as an engineer to NASA would be a big thing in my life.”
Starting as a Philosophy major, Jones thought his abilities would be best suited for a career in law, so he later moved into the Legal Studies program, but realized it wasn't the path for him.

“I wanted to focus on helping people,” Jones said. “I have always been good at math and science, so I decided to make my focus on those subjects, so I switched to engineering.

“Philosophy really gave the foundation I needed for engineering. It gave me meaning and purpose for my life and it drew me towards thinking about the right things and thinking about things in a logical structure.”

Jones, who moonlights as a DJ in Maple Ridge and Coquitlam, notes that engineering satisfies both his artistic and creative side, as well as his analytical. And because of his interest in philosophy, Jones feels more prepared to work as an engineer because he can better understand the needs of the people he is working with.

“Those who study humanities learn what the problems of societies are, and then engineers find out how to solve the problems – but there is a huge disconnect there,” Jones said. “A lot of engineers can benefit from an arts education, like I did. It was a nice progression, and I wouldn't change it.”

The freedom to find his passion while taking courses was a huge benefit for Jones, who appreciates the flexibility Douglas offers.

“It was good I came here. It’s hands on and it’s not destroying my bank account,” Jones said. “If I went to SFU, I would have stayed in legal studies, but with Douglas I felt like I could make the switch.”

Once Jones completes his education at Douglas, he plans to transfer to either UBC or SFU to complete his engineering degree.

Douglas College offers an Engineering Essentials Diploma and Engineering Foundations Certificate.

To find out more, attend an info session.