My Journey from High School to the Centre of Forensic Sciences
I started my first year of university in 2004 studying Human Kinetics at the University of Guelph. I credit Guelph with providing me with the academic foundation, discipline and the patience that I have today which have proved to be monumental in my very indirect road to the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS). I graduated with an Honours degree from Guelph into the economic recession of 2008 with no career prospects in sight. Shortly after, I found myself working a minimum wage job at Toronto Pearson airport. I thought I would work at Pearson for a few months while still job hunting for entry level positions in the field of physical therapy. Fast forward five years, I was still at the airport – I had become complacent.
I applied to the Nursing program at a few Ontario universities; perhaps a second degree is what I needed to commence my career. With no expectations of being accepted, I also submitted an application to the Biotechnology Technologist Forensics program at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough. This was by far the best decision I made academically as it paved the way for me and introduced me to the field of forensic science.
Sixteen months into the Forensics program at Fleming, it was time for me to decide on my placement location. I visited the new state-of-the art Forensic Services and Coroner’s Complex where the Centre of Forensic Sciences is located during a scheduled public tour. I did not know much about CFS prior to this tour, but it was soon clear to me that I didn’t want to work anywhere else but at the CFS.
I wanted to actively participate in the field of forensic sciences before starting my placement. With the advice of my program coordinator I became a student member of the Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences. I knew joining this organization would allow me to become involved and familiar with our forensic community. Shortly after I registered as a student member, I attended my first conference in Gatineau which was an unforgettable experience. I met members from various agencies and organizations such as RCMP, SCC, BNQ, ASCLAD-LAB, and CFS Toronto. This society provided me the opportunity to network with professionals, attend conferences, workshops, and receive full access to journal articles that are published in the CSFS Journal. I have been a student member of the society for two years and recently was accepted as a provisional member.
In 2014, I accepted an internship position with the Firearms and Toolmarks Unit, which introduced to be a whole new discipline about which I knew very little. I completed a Research & Development project investigating 3D printed firearms. Following this, I was provided an opportunity to work in the Firearms Unit on contract. I have now been an employee with CFS for almost two years and have accepted a permanent position as a Forensic Technologist. Although my journey to the CFS has been full of life lessons, growth and opportunity, my journey as a CFS employee is just beginning. I still have a great deal to learn from my experienced co-workers and I wish to pay it forward to the newcomers to CFS.
Kirat was featured on the CSFS marketing for students in 2014!