Employee Spotlight: Abdul Sattar’s Journey from Warehouse to Workshop

June 28, 2024

Meet Abdul Sattar, a dedicated member of Van Kam Freightways who joined the company in 2016. Starting his Van Kam journey in our Surrey warehouse, Abdul navigated various shifts and roles, ultimately finding his passion in the Van Kam Shop. His story shows growth, learning, and adaptability, showcasing his commitment to his career and personal development.

From Warehouse to Workshop

Abdul began his career at Van Kam Freightways in the summer of 2016, working various shifts in the warehouse. “The warehouse is good. I spent a lot of time there and made many friends,” he recalls. Over the years, Abdul experienced afternoon, graveyard, and morning shifts. “I’ve worked all three shifts, and while the warehouse has been great, I felt the need to explore more,” he shares.

In November last year, Abdul decided to pursue his growing interest in auto mechanics. He enrolled in a four-year mechanics course at Vancouver Community College (VCC). “I just got interested in being a mechanic. It was a spark that made me want to learn more,” Abdul explains. Despite managing his studies independently, his passion and determination saw him transition to the shop part-time about four months ago, working two days a week to balance his studies.

Building Skills and Growing

Abdul’s move to the mechanic’s shop introduced him to Ken Pyette, a seasoned professional with over 25 years at Van Kam. “Ken is an amazing mentor. He starts me with simple tasks to build my foundational skills and gradually introduces more complex challenges. This approach helps me understand the mechanics deeply and gain confidence in my abilities,” Abdul shares. “The environment here is fantastic. I like working in the shop; it’s different from the warehouse but equally engaging,” he adds.

Abdul’s story exemplifies Van Kam’s core Value of DEVELOP. “I’ve been growing and evolving my career here,” he says. The support I receive from my colleagues and mentors at Van Kam is incredible. It’s more than just getting the job done; it’s about learning and growing daily. The company encourages us to strive for excellence and provides the resources and support to reach new heights,” he explains further.

Abdul and Ken at the Van Kam shop in Surrey.

Road to Red Seal

Looking ahead, Abdul’s primary goal is to finish his course at VCC and earn his Red Seal certification, a significant milestone in his mechanics career. “In the next five years, I hope to finish the course and get my Red Seal,” he states confidently. This certification will validate his skills and open new doors in his career. While he dreams of possibly having his own shop one day, he is focused on learning and growing within Van Kam. “I’ll be happy working here. No issues, no problems,” he adds with a smile.

Scoring Goals On and Off the Field

Outside of work, Abdul has a passion for soccer. “I play in the summer night league with the Surrey Coyotes,” he says. “Last year, we won the cup, and we won it the year before, too,” he proudly adds. Abdul has had a long journey in soccer, having played in the Fraser Valley Soccer League, where he moved from Division C to Division A. Due to changes in his career, he took a break from the league but now enjoys playing with the Surrey Coyotes during the summer, with games typically held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. “The night league is great; teams come from everywhere to play,” he adds.

Abdul is also an avid Real Madrid and Liverpool fan, enthusiastically following the Spanish La Liga and the English Premier League . He enjoys playing and watching the sport, appreciating the skill and strategy at the game’s highest levels.

Abdul Sattar (center) and his Surrey Coyotes teammates celebrate their 2023 championship.

A Future Full of Promise

Abdul’s journey from the warehouse to the workshop is a shining example of the potential for growth within Van Kam. His dedication to his work and willingness to embrace new challenges highlight the company’s role in fostering a culture of continuous development. Abdul Sattar’s future is bright, with his eyes set on earning his Red Seal certification and his heart still in soccer. “I’m excited about what’s next,” he concludes.

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