“I’m the son of Italian immigrants. My mom and dad came here in 1952. They didn’t know each other ― they were teenagers who came here on work visas for CP Rail to work on the trains. They met each other, ipso facto, I was born.
So I’m working stock. I worked on the railway myself. I lied about my age at 16 to go pound spikes in the summer to make a couple of grand to buy a car but also to help out at home, and I’m proud of that ― extremely. I was barely getting by in high school because I was working full time at a grocery store on the night shift to make a couple of bucks.
School counsellors came around one day … All I asked was one question: “How do I make the most money by investing the least amount of time?’
So they told me, ‘Petroleum Technology, SAIT. Oh, you’ll never make it into university, kid, so that’s probably going to be your best bet. And it looks like you’ve got the marks for it.’
I thought, ‘OK.’ I put in my application. The rest, as they say, is history.
My career is a huge part of my life. And if I trace back to my roots, that single cell that spawned it all, it has the SAIT logo on it. So how can you not love where you came from? Now to be an instructor here, it’s fulfilling. I guess the word is ‘thankful.’ I’m appreciative that this place is here and it’s still here for me ― from 17 to 57 years old, that’s a big spread. My dream is just to go until I exhaust my usefulness here.”
Jim Esposito, Petroleum Technology ’79 | Instructor, MacPhail School of Energy
Editor’s note: Jim was one of SAITSA’s 2016 Instructor of Excellence Award recipients, one of eight recipients chosen in SAIT’s centennial year. Together, the eight recipients rack up nearly 100 years of teaching at SAIT. Read more about the award in the Spring 2017 edition of LINK, SAIT’s alumni magazine.