How Adetunji’s Planning and Determination Led to Employment Success

Adetunji moved from Nigeria to Oshawa, Ontario in May 2023. Adetunji has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and has over a decade of experience as an actuary. He worked with two of the Big Four consulting firms. To arrive better prepared, Adetunji decided to sign up for SOPA services. He found SOPA’s pre-arrival services valuable. They include job search workshops, personal employment counselling, and insights into Canadian workplace culture to help him advance in his new country. SOPA transformed Adetunji’s approach to seeking employment in Canada. It gave strategic insights and practical advice tailored to the Canadian job market.

Adetunji was very engaged as a SOPA client. He met with his intake counsellor. Then, he started a soft skills course before meeting with his employment counsellor. After completing the SOPA soft skills course ‘Working with Others’, Adetunji gained insights into the nuances of Canadian workplace norms. These include the importance of teamwork, communication, and the balance between humility and promoting one’s achievements. This knowledge was crucial. It helped him tailor his interview responses and interactions with employers. He used it to reflect the values and behaviours appreciated in the local workplace.

After using SOPA services, Adetunji said it took him four weeks to find a job after landing in Oshawa. He started applying for jobs before landing. He had many interactions with his SOPA employment specialist Mar. This helped him land a great opportunity as an actuary in Toronto. In his current role, he assesses financial risk and uncertainty. His duties involve using math, stats, and financial theory to advise on and manage security systems.

Here is what Adetunji shared about his SOPA experience:

“SOPA was key in securing my current actuarial position in Canada. It gave me a deep understanding of the Canadian job market. I got help with my resume, answering interview questions and understanding the Canadian workplace. Through SOPA’s job search strategies workshops, I learned the importance of tailoring my resume to highlight my analytical skills and programming expertise, making it more appealing to Canadian employers. The personalized employment counselling sessions were key. They helped me refine my interview techniques. The focus was on showcasing my problem-solving skills and my expertise in R, Python, SQL, and other actuarial tools. These skills are highly sought after in my field.

Most importantly, SOPA boosted my confidence. I got connected with industry professionals and other immigrants through networking events. Knowing I was not alone in this journey was important. The practical skills and knowledge from SOPA were crucial. They helped me get my current job and set the foundation for my future success in Canada.


Moreover, SOPA’s soft skills courses provided insights into the Canadian workplace culture. It prepared me for the inclusive work environment here. It taught me the details of professional communication and etiquette in Canada. This was important. I made a good impression in my job interviews and networking. I also received an action plan from my Intake counsellor. The action plan addressed my concerns about settlement and integration. It had info on finding housing and understanding Canadian healthcare and finance. It greatly reduced my anxiety about moving to a new country. I received a checklist that served as a handy guide over my first few weeks in Canada.

Most importantly, SOPA boosted my confidence. I got connected with industry professionals and other immigrants through networking events. Knowing I was not alone in this journey was important. The practical skills and knowledge from SOPA were crucial. They helped me get my current job and set the foundation for my future success in Canada.” – Adetunji

Mar Smaili, a SOPA Employment Specialist in Ontario, had the opportunity to work with Adetunji during his SOPA journey. Here is what Mar shared about his experience working with Adetunji:

“It was an immense pleasure working with Adetunji. He showed a strong commitment to our services. He also used feedback and advice in his job search strategy. I was not surprised when Adetunji told me about getting his first and second jobs in Canada. I am sure that he will keep growing in his current role and achieve big milestones in his career.”

We also asked Adetunji about his best tips to help new Canadians arrive better prepared and successfully integrate into their local communities. Here is what he said:

Tips on Finding Employment in Canada:
  1. Use Local Resources: Use pre-arrival services like SOPA. Use local immigrant services once you arrive. They give invaluable guidance on job search. They help with resume prep and understanding Canadian workplace culture.
  2. Canadianize Your Resume: Ensure your CV follows Canadian standards. Emphasize skills and experiences relevant to the job. Canadian employers appreciate concise, clear, and well-structured resumes.
  3. Understand NOC Codes: Learn about the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. It categorizes jobs based on job duties and the type of work a person does. Knowing your NOC code can help tailor your job search and applications.
  4. Network Actively: Networking is crucial in Canada. Attend industry meetups, conferences, and other events. Use LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your field. Informational interviews are a powerful tool to learn about the Canadian job market.
  5. Prepare for Interviews: Canadian job interviews often include behavioural questions. Practice the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your responses effectively. Show how your skills and experience make you a good fit for the job.
Tips on Settling in Canada
  1. Understand Your Health Care Options: Health care is managed provincially in Canada. Learn the healthcare system of the province you’re moving to. Learn how to apply for health insurance.
  2. Learn About Canadian Culture: Understanding Canadian norms and values can help you adjust faster. Canadians value politeness, punctuality, and inclusivity.
  3. Manage Your Finances: Open a Canadian bank account. Get a credit card to start building your credit. Learn about Canada’s tax system and your obligations, especially if you are working or plan to work.
  4. Explore Housing Options: Research housing options thoroughly before you arrive. Consider short-term accommodations if you need more time to find something permanent. Websites like Kijiji, Craigslist, and real estate listings can give insight into the housing market.
  5. Improve Your Language Skills: If English or French isn’t your first language, take language classes. Language proficiency is so important for both employment and daily life in Canada. The government funds language classes. They are available through programs like LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada).
General Tips
  1. Be open and adaptable. Embrace new things and be willing to leave your comfort zone. Adaptability is key to both personal and professional success in Canada.
  2. Stay Positive and Persistent. Settling in and finding a job can take time. Stay positive and keep applying, even if you face rejections.
  3. Seek Support When Needed. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. It could be for mental health, money, or jobs. There are many resources available for newcomers.
  4. Remember, the journey of settling in a new country is a marathon, not a sprint. Being patient, persistent, and proactive will help a lot. They will ensure a smooth transition and successful life in Canada.

Story by Adetunji, SOPA Ontario Client

The story was prepared by Mar Smaili, SOPA Ontario Employment Specialist and edited by Albina Ziatdinova, SOPA Online Community and Social Media Monitor

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Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) is an Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) funded program that delivers free pre-arrival services for job readiness, success and retention.

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