In our latest Cultiv8 blog, our HR Manager Jordan Holmes chats to our Montreal-based IT Director Sose Canadian. He shares his journey to date with Continent 8 and what makes the company a very special place to work.
Sose – thanks for sitting down to chat. First up, can you tell us a little more about your role as IT Director at Continent 8 Technologies?
My role is figuratively about keeping the lights on. It’s down to me to make sure that Continent 8 is using its technologies to their full potential so that our teams can meet and exceed their goals. In short, it’s my responsibility for internal systems to be running as they should be. Of course, it’s mission-critical that we do this securely, so I work closely with the security team so that our goals are always aligned.
This means we are constantly auditing, automating and facilitating so that the company, which now employs more than 200 people across the globe, is firing on all cylinders at all times while ensuring we remain resilient to the high volume of cyber-attacks those in this industry face. This also means reacting to trends and environmental factors which often have a significant impact on the direction we take.
Take Covid, for example. It forced everyone to re-think staff working from an office and opened the door to remote and hybrid working. This meant that organisations, including Continent 8, had to quickly adapt. But this has always been our superpower. In this instance, we changed how we deployed systems, the meeting solutions we used, and the ways in which different departments and teams collaborated. With this came improving our sharing capabilities and making remote access easier, faster and smarter.
What attracted you to Continent 8 as a company?
I am a Mohawk First Nations and the idea of something as exciting as a technology infrastructure company setting up shop on my reservation was incredibly exciting to me and drew me in straight away.
My journey started at Mohawk Internet Technologies, and I was one of the first people to join the organisation. I think that is what makes me care so much about the company and my role within it.
While Continent 8 has grown significantly over the years across the globe, it always felt like a family business to me, and it still does. Over the years, I have worked hard and feel very much a part of discovering how we can continue to best serve our customers. We have always wanted to make our customers happy and that often means doing little things that have a big impact on their overall experience, making it so much better. Even though the company has scaled at pace, particularly in recent years, this ethos remains and that’s what makes it such a great place to work.
Can you tell us a little more about your career to date?
Over the years, I have actually held several roles within the company. I started out as a DC Tech but because we were such a small organisation back then, I became a jack of all trades. I installed the customer servers, set up interfaces, and built web servers and DNS – I did everything and enjoyed doing it all.
I then left Continent 8 for a little while and worked for the Economic Development Commission of Kahnawake where I managed the IT team there. But I always wanted to come back and eventually made my return. It felt like a homecoming. I returned as Systems Admin and was then promoted to North American DC Tech Manager before ultimately being given my current role of IT Director. It’s been a great journey so far and I look forward to many more years with Continent 8.
What have been some of the biggest highlights along the way?
I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the roles I have held at Continent 8. I loved getting my hands dirty and being technical, but I’ve had just as much fun fostering a supportive environment in management so that my team can grow. I love the variety that comes with my role, and the need to always pivot and change direction according to the needs of the business and the environments in which we operate. The strong, loyal relationships we have with our customers is also a highlight – many of whom have been with us for decades. The closeness of these relationships is crucial to us being able to support their needs and not only meet but exceed their expectations. Many have become our friends, and you never want to let a friend down.
For me, the biggest highlight is the belief that I have in Continent 8. I believe deeply in my team, the company and the direction in which we are heading – which is very much onwards and upwards.
What is the most exciting aspect of your job?
No day is ever the same and the constant change makes my role incredibly exciting. I love the thrill of working in an agile environment where we are always looking at ways to improve. This often means coming up with new approaches and processes and pushing boundaries. Innovation is in our DNA, and we use this to drive forward with improvements that ultimately ensure that we deliver a superior product and service to our customers. There is never a dull day at Continent 8, that’s for sure.
Do you have any particular career goals/aspirations for the year?
I am always growing, learning and moving forwards. One of the main areas I am concentrating on over the coming 12 months is facilitating secure, remote working across the organisation – which is easier said than done for a global business located across multiple continents – and making sure that our systems and processes are as efficient as possible. This means even more auditing, automating and improving.
The pace and scale at which Continent 8 continues to expand is frankly staggering and ensuring that I keep up with this rapid growth means that I am making tremendous personal and career progress at the same time.
Learn more about careers at Continent 8 here