Interview with Olushola Oleyemi, SOPA Client

Olushola Oleyemi arrived in Manitoba on June 20th of this year with his wife, who was also a SOPA client. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a professional certification in Project Management. He was a Project Coordinator in a steam power station in Nigeria and is now a Document Controller in the Project Management Department of an engineering, procurement and construction company in Canada.

How did you learn about the SOPA program and what services did you receive from SOPA?

I learned about the SOPA program online through IRCC’s recommendation. The program gave me an understanding of the Canadian work culture and how to adapt to my new life in Manitoba. It provided an introduction to the Canadian job search and how to use various tools to be more successful in finding a job. I learned about several opportunities and organizations that facilitate the integration of immigrants into the Canadian environment.

What did you like about learning with SOPA? How did SOPA change your approach to seeking employment in Canada?

I loved the friendly and encouraging approach of the counsellors. It motivated me and gave me confidence in my abilities to secure a job in my field. SOPA gave me an understanding of the key requirements in applying for a job in Canada, which were different from my country of origin. SOPA assisted me in streamlining my objectives and recognizing the areas to improve for employment before I arrived in my province.

Would you recommend SOPA to other pre-arrivals and newcomers?

Yes, I would. It gives you an insight into the directions to look before you arrive in your province.

Describe any challenges you faced in your job search process and the steps you took to overcome these obstacles.

The job search process commenced after my online counselling sessions with my SOPA counsellors in my country of origin. It wasn’t easy at first but after attending programs both with Altered Minds (SOPA) and Manitoba Start, it improved. The challenges ranged from identifying areas to focus my job search on (bridging jobs or long -term goal jobs) to battling with rejection from employers because of my lack of work experience in Manitoba.

Before my arrival, I attended online workshops on Job Search Strategies and Canadian Workplace Integration. These workshops introduced me to some of the strategies required to achieve success in my job search.

Upon arrival, I attended workshops with Manitoba Start that provided information for career and employment for landed immigrants, and I participated in Altered Minds’ Entry Program. My participation with the Entry Program reinforced what I learned from SOPA and it further expanded my network of friends in Canada, which is very crucial during job search.

I scheduled frequent meetings with my job search specialists to receive advice, on my job applications and to learn about opportunities available in their network for me to explore.

Being successful in your job search requires hard work, persistence, and patience. The SOPA program was the foundation and fuel that kept propelling me to achieve my employment goals.

Please share your employment journey and how long it took to find your first job?

I used several online tools, including the Job Bank, LinkedIn, Workopolis, Ziprecruiters, and Google Jobs. Networking was essential, I shared knowledge with classmates from employment workshops, counsellors and friends and frequently discussed opportunities. Manitoba Start, SOPA and the Opportunities for Employment were a big help in recommending me to organizations for employment.

I found my first job within 39 days of arriving in Canada.

Any tips for other newcomers in terms of finding employment in Canada

  • Attend the SOPA Program before coming to Manitoba; it will prepare your mind for the challenges and how to overcome them upon your arrival
  • Job searching is a job. It would be best if you treated it like you treat going to work
  • Several organizations can assist you in preparing for employment in Manitoba; discuss this with the SOPA counsellors and they will guide you accordingly
  • Hard work, patience and persistence will deliver success in the job search

What are you busy with now? May we know what your plans are regarding your employment in MB?

I work as a document controller at an EPC company. Soon after gathering some experience in the construction and engineering industry, I will explore further project management opportunities in my organization and get my engineering license in the province.


The interview was done by:

Milagros Dacwag

Intake Counsellor,

SOPA Manitoba