“Nothing but advantages!”
From a very early age, Jonathan Gendron took advantage of every opportunity to learn English. He recalls that he “could stay up an hour later to watch English television programs.” A perfect example of the joy of learning! At the age of 16, while continuing his studies, Jonathan became a reservist in the Canadian Forces. The training activities and courses enabled him to meet many Anglophones and to quickly improve his English.
After obtaining his high school diploma from the Cité des Jeunes in Edmundston, Jonathan undertook a Bachelor’s program in Business Administration at the Université de Moncton. He then went on to obtain his Master’s degree in Industrial Relations at the Université de Laval in Québec City. With diplomas in his hands, Jonathan worked full time in the Reserves for two years. He then joined the regular Forces and became a Personnel Selection Officer. “Basically, you could say that I work for the Forces’ Human Resources Branch,” he says. Among other things, his work involves selecting, recruiting and counseling military personnel. And he does it in both official languages. Jonathan moved up quickly. In February 2012, he obtained the rank of Captain. Today he works at Base Gagetown in New Brunswick.
He believes that his ability to speak both official languages opened many doors for him. “In the Canadian Forces or the civil service, bilingualism is a major asset,” he added. “It allowed me to access more jobs. It gives more points when it comes to promotion. There are no negatives.”
While he speaks both languages, Jonathan attaches great importance to French. “Once I had attained a certain level of bilingualism, I started to think more about my mother tongue and not losing it,” he explains. He is a young man who is aware of the small things it takes to ensure the vitality of the French language. “Normally, in shops, I try to conduct business in my mother tongue.”
Jonathan wants to go abroad in the near future. “Officers in the Canadian Forces are often deployed in certain countries as observers or to help with military restructuring,” he says. “I hope to have the chance to go abroad soon, possibly to Africa.” There can be no doubt that his knowledge of both languages will once again help him to attain his objective.