An Eye Opening Experience

Our story today of a client who found job before settling in Canada. Although, we take pride in our clients’s success, we know that mostly all that success comes from the professionalism of our clients and their desire to learn. The experience and hard skills are there, our role is to help and guide. We provide the information that our clients need. That one hour with an Intake Counselor is crucial in identifying our clients’s needs and guiding them in getting the right information for their settlement and job search. Kidist found job before finally settling in Canada thanks to preparing her resume, highlighting the right skills and prepared to approach Canadian employers. Thank you, Kidist, for your interview with us. Let’s hear her story.

Kidist, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

My first name is Kidist Kibret. I was born in Ethiopia but have spent several years in Europe. My residence prior to Canada was Germany, where I completed my PhD study. I landed in Winnipeg, Manitoba in November, 2016, got my residence card and returned to Germany to complete my study. After graduation in July 2017, I returned to Winnipeg in September 2017. I am currently working as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Manitoba which is a one term job for a few hours per week. This was a good start for me because I got to network with professors at the University. The job also helped me to get some information of research resources and funding available in Canada. Thus it was beneficial to my future career goal.

My long term career goal is to get an entry level full time research position such as a postdoctoral research to establish a career in bio-economy. It is a requirement to get employment both in academia and biotechnology industry. It is a global trend that biotechnology companies hire a PhD graduate with at least one postdoc experience (equivalent to 2-3 years of research experience after getting the PhD) rather than a fresh graduate, especially in their research and development department. Postdoctoral research experience is also crucial to get faculty positions in a university.

When you think of Canada, what 3 things comes to your mind first?

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Canada is a permanent place to live where my career can flourish. As I mentioned above, I have lived in Europe for several years without a permanent residence, which seriously challenged and hampered my career. It was difficult to freely explore career options in countries where I had temporary residence.

What questions did you have about SOPA before registering?

None, I already read about the program and knew about the benefits.

How did SOPA change your approach to looking for a job in Canada?

After participation in the SOPA program, I ended up with a Canadian style resume. Moreover, I got tips and advice about job search in Canada, and how to approach employers prior to arrival in Canada.

Why did you decide to register for SOPA?

When I was first recommended to join SOPA by ‘Prepare for Canada’, the program goals were explained to me clearly so, I had no doubt it would not be useful to my future in Canada. I registered without hesitation.

How would you describe the SOPA program to a friend or colleague?

I would describe SOPA and all the other pre-arrival programs as an eye opener. It helps a newcomer see the ways to succeed in Canada. I would recommend the pre-arrival programs, including SOPA, to a friend coming to Winnipeg.

How did your Intake Counsellor help you with the settlement information in Canada?

I was studying in Germany while participating in SOPA. My Counsellor helped me with thinking through a practical plan of arrival and settlement in Winnipeg. My counsellor also gave me ideas of how to start searching for a job even before arrival. Once my studies were complete, I immediately started packing and travelled without hesitation because I had a concrete plan for settlement.

How did your SOPA courses prepare you for Canada?

I enrolled in two SOPA courses, Soft Skills Professional Communication and Soft Skills Working with Others, these courses prepared me for communications at the workplace and I learnt workplace etiquette.

How did you get the job before arriving in Canada?

My SOPA Counsellor gave me ideas of how to start searching for a job even before arrival in Canada. I followed the advice and started applying for jobs once I completed my study and a few months before arriving in Canada. A day before my departure from Germany, I had a skype interview with my current boss in Winnipeg. By then I already had a Canadian permanent residence card, a bank account and a home address in Winnipeg, which impressed him and I got my job offer by the time I arrived in Winnipeg.

What do you think could make the SOPA program even better?

I think SOPA is already a very good program. The only comment I have is about its promotion. There are some newcomers who were not aware of the pre-arrival services before they arrived in Canada. Perhaps, it could be recommended with the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) approval letter.

Thank you so much!

Prepared by Milagros Dacwag

Milagros is a Registered Social Worker with Manitoba College of Social Workers and a member of Canadian Association of Social Workers, Inc.  Previously Milagros worked in the Philippines and Singapore as a Social Worker working with the different sectors in the community. Today, she is focused on assisting pre-arrival immigrants bound to Manitoba as an Intake Counsellor for Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA)-Manitoba. She previously worked as a Settlement Worker at Salvation Army-Barbara Mitchel Resource Centre assisting newcomers on their settlement at St. Vital area in Winnipeg.