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Orest Goricanec, BEng '85

Computer Engineering | Leaping into Success

Career turning points – or the decisions that make all the difference – are often only clear in hindsight.

With 35 years of perspective, it’s easy to see that three big leaps of faith defined Orest Goricanec’s career success.

The first leap of faith came in 1979, when the Toronto-area teen took a gamble on McMaster’s Computer Engineering program.

“It was a completely new program, unique at the time and offering the prospect of job opportunities anywhere in an exciting new field,” recalls Goricanec, who was one of the program’s earliest graduates in 1985.

The second leap of faith came when, shortly after graduation, he moved with his wife to Switzerland, the country where she had been born.

He began working for ASCOM, Switzerland’s largest telecom manufacturer. Initially, he developed software for telecom systems, and then later moved on to project management, product management and sales.

But a lifelong dream to own his own company led to the third leap of faith, which he took nearly 20 years ago.

In January 2000, Goricanec teamed up with a partner to launch SUNTIS Ltd., a software engineering service provider. The company services organizations in the telecom and transportation industries, as well as providing software products to major companies such as the Vodafone Group, Swiss Army and European railroads.

As co-founder and managing director, Goricanec says running his own company is tremendously satisfying.

Both the move to Switzerland – where he and his wife enjoy skiing and hiking and have raised three daughters – and founding his own firm were gambles that have defined a lifetime.

“The road is not always easy, sometimes rocky, but filled with many rewards and exciting experiences,” he says.