Former West Island tap dance and soccer phenom lawyering in London
We know Sheldon Jean-Baptiste as one of those children of our community who shined in almost anything he did: dancer, soccer player and musician par excellence.
So it’s not surprising to see him elevate another rung on his ladder to success, and making it look so easy.
During a recent whirlwind visit to Montreal, the former West Island resident stopped off at the offices of the CONTACT with his newly minted Law degree from the University of Leicester, and shared his experiences over the past two years in England.
“Because it was a two-year program it was intensive, and there wasn’t time to do much else but study, especially in the first year,” he says.
Although he went into the program primed and ready, having breezed through the highly prestigious Loyola High School, Dawson College and the Mass Communication program at Concordia University, Sheldon says he still had to adjust to the rigors of preparing for a legal profession.
“I think what was difficult for me at first, was having to change my way of thinking and acquiring the skills to convince others to see and accept your point of view.”
And that, he adds, is his most interesting take-away from the program: “I like the way it makes me think.”
In the end, as he is wont to do, Sheldon breezed through the program, specializing in Intellectual Property and graduating with honors. A few months later, he found a job in the legal department of Lane IP Limited, one of London’s newest and fastest growing firms of its kind.
“It’s a great place to be at this point in my life,” he told the CONTACT, referring to his new job and newly adopted city.
“Of course, London’s arts and entertainment scene is always overflowing with things to do and see and I think one of the most memorable moments of my life was being in Old Trafford Stadium with 90,000 watching Manchester United play.”
A consummate Montrealer, Sheldon made his mark in this city as a former youth soccer star, winning two national championships with his West Island team. He was also ranked as one of top 20 players in his age group in Canada.
Also, he fashioned an outstanding career as a tap-dancer while extending himself as a volunteer with West Island Association for the Intellectually Handicapped and Trevor Williams Kids Foundation and the Pierrefonds Soccer Association.
As he prepares his new home in London, Sheldon says there’s a lot he misses in Montreal, especially his mom Valerie Hernandez’s cooking, but always carries with him his appreciation for the help he received from the many individuals and groups who paved the way.