Early Lessons Lead to Lifelong Skills

The following story was first posted on Bosa Properties Foundation’s blog. It has been reprinted here with permission.

We asked our own David Basche of Bosa Properties about what life was like coming from a new country, and the literacy skills he needed to succeed in his career.

David currently works in the acquisitions group of the company, the division that is in charge of finding and buying new real estate assets.  Being well spoken and having strong literacy skills are essential to the job.  Some of David’s work involves meeting many associates, writing contracts and formal letters, and creating presentations.

David grew up in Cologne, Germany and came to BC in 2006. He’d learned English at school overseas , but it was fairly basic. “I knew how to ask for directions and order in a restaurant,” he says.

Then he found himself at Shawnigan Lake boarding school, living with 50 other guys, where conversational English was necessary for a social life. Immersed in that environment, David became fluent within 6 or 7 weeks.

Reading and writing in English was more of a challenge. His 2 years at UBC included an ESL class that was too basic to be of much help, but in his business courses at BCIT, he took a giant leap forward. “We were forced to write so many reports and essays,” he says. “I learned not just to write faster, but to speak faster.”

“I think that my learning experience and the principles I adapted to learn English are essential to success in my job – asking a lot of questions, asking the right questions, and not shying away are just a few things you can do.  I also stayed patient, and didn’t try to learn everything at once.  When I first started working here, it was almost like learning a new language all over again, I’m glad I had already gained the confidence and skills to learn something new.”

He’s now so comfortable with English literacy that he no longer bothers translating into German. “After a while you think in English, you dream in English.”

For the original story, visit the Bosa Properties Foundation, one of our valued partners.

For more success stories, visit our Success Stories Page.

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