• Tom Batty

NBCC's Applied Studies program brimming with top talent

Updated: Nov 3

Of all the things I did over my four-decade career with the Canadian Armed Forces, working with students remains one of the highlights.

It’s why I’m so happy to welcome eight NBCC students to the 3D Planeta team.

Seven of them are working on 3D Planeta’s platform development, customer experience and business development. Our eighth student is working on another special project: 3D Planeta is on its way to becoming a certified B Corporation.

Community-led and globally-focused: that’s at the heart of what Norm and I want 3D Planeta to be. That starts with being purposeful in how we support people in our community, particularly students.

As the Officer Commanding the Army Learning Support Centre (ALSC) from 2009 to my retirement in 2018, I oversaw a team of over 120 people tasked with integrating emerging technologies and learning methods to create in-house training for the Canadian Armed Forces. It was a mix of military personnel, civilian employees, contractors – and about 30 interns from the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC).

All were students in NBCC’s Applied Studies Internship, a 12-month post-graduate paid internship program that combines classroom learning with a work practicum with ALSC, which I’m proud to say is among one of Canada’s most state-of-the-art training development facilities, including large-scale 3D printing, immersive technologies and motion capture systems.

When Norm and I started 3D Planeta just over a year ago, I knew I wanted our company to be an NBCC partner because the students in the Intern program are first-rate and the learning goes both ways. The students gain on-the-job experience and me as an employer gain access to new ways of thinking and an HR funnel of highly skilled people. The program is perfect for a young company such as 3D Planeta because the students receive great instruction at NBCC and are well prepared to join the workforce; the company provides experience and on-the-job training.

Everything about this program just makes sense to me.

So, in early 2020 3D Planeta became an NBCC industry partner and I happily sat down to interview a crop of students. I can honestly say each was highly talented. Many were mature students who brought a wealth of technological and business experience from their previous employment, including executive and senior leadership positions.

After I completed the interviews, I was exhausted but also very excited.

3D Planeta is a young start-up racing to be first to market with our patented 3D fusion imaging technology. It’s a highly competitive field and we need to ramp up quickly with a highly-skilled, motivated team. We know our route to success goes through New Brunswick’s post-secondary institutions.

Our original plan was to have five NBCC students join us for their work practicum, but then Covid-19 hit forcing NBCC to cancel the student’s time spent with companies.

So, I moved into Plan B. I contacted the five students and asked if they’d be willing to work with 3D Planeta as volunteers. They immediately said yes…and then I was contacted by three other students who had heard about our offer and wanted to volunteer.

At the end of April I onboarded eight students.

Covid-19 caused a detour but we remain focused on our goal: to map our route forward with the talent and ingenuity of New Brunswick residents.