The Value of Preparedness

Moving to a new country is never an easy decision and that too with family. I hold a Master’s degree in Computer Science and over 9 years of industry experience. With no relatives or friends in Canada, I was a bit tense and wanted to prepare myself as much as I could before even getting the COPR in hand. That’s when one day while casually browsing on my immigration status I saw the advertisement for the SOPA program. I pondered about it and thought to give it a try.

A week later, I was enrolled to take my first facilitated course “Job Search Strategies”. This course was really demanding as I had to cope with my work commitments too but it was all for a greater cause so I somehow managed. Soon after it became apparent that the course is very well structured and the assignments and tasks that I had to fulfill really made me think out of the box and genuinely use my skills.

The other four courses also enriched me on how to act appropriately and professionally in a Canadian workplace as well as understand various rights and responsibilities when handling professional documentation and taxation matters to ensure no one takes undue advantage of me as a newcomer. All the course instructors were very polite and understanding and never did they push me to cover the courses in haste and miss out on the real essence, learning about how to integrate into Canadian society.

I am extremely grateful for the existence of such a platform (SOPA) where newcomers can gradually prepare themselves for the important challenges they will face ahead. After landing in my province, I met a few of my SOPA course instructors in person as well.

Soon I landed a job in my field as a Business Analyst at SaskTel International (one of the Crown organizations of the province). Thanks to the job-hunting practices as well as communication and workplace integration rules I learned through SOPA courses, I have been doing pretty well.

Prepared by: Faran Ali Khan, SOPA Saskatchewan Graduate