Mussarat Parveen always knew that Canada would be her destination country. She valued its diversity, organization and cultural values. Mussarat speaks many languages and was brought up around many cultures, so she knew she will be comfortable fitting in. Before arriving, Mussarat and her husband Javed found the SOPA program online. They felt that it would help them enhance their job search preparations. They both took several classes, but found Job Search Strategies to be the most beneficial. Job Search Strategies course showed them the Canadian styles of resumes, and enhanced their knowledge of interview tactics. As a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, she felt ready to find work in her field at a Community-Based Organization in Regina, SK. Her journey is quite unique though. Shortly after landing in March 2017, Mussarat gained employment at the Regina Open Door Society, where the SOPA team delivers their program! She explains how it all happened so quickly:
“I applied for several jobs at the RODS and I was planning to volunteer at the Welcoming Community for Newcomers Program. One day I received a phone call from RODS to appear in the interview. This was a panel interview and the interview included questions related to my work experience, team work, time management and some behavioral questions. The SOPA interview sessions helped me prepare for the job interview.
My experience of working with RODS is exciting, having the new experience of working with refugees and immigrants and I enjoy working with people from diverse groups. My job responsibilities include: managing volunteers, providing leadership training to newcomers and to volunteers. And matching newcomers with the settled newcomers and long-time Canadian citizens. During my six months of my work with RODS I have learned a lot from the newcomers, volunteers and RODS staff.”
Mussarat recommends the SOPA courses as they prepared her to integrate into the Canadian workplace easily. She also suggests building on the newly developed skills learned through SOPA by participating in post-arrival Readiness Workshops, volunteering and Employment Counselling. Her RODS Counsellor Razia was vital in steering her to the next step in the job search process by offering her support, resources and helped her fine-tune the professional documents. Congratulations Mussarat, on your employment at the Regina Open Door Society and we wish you and your family all the best!
Written by: Lisa Williams, Job Search Strategies Facilitator at SOPA Saskatchewan
Lisa Williams is an experienced facilitator and project leader with roots in assisting her community members overcome barriers to employment. As a cultural Anthropologist, she is thriving on the SOPA project, as she is passionate about working with newcomers and helping them feel more prepared to move to Canada. Lisa enjoys working online with clients in their home country, but is the most fulfilled when she gets the chance to meet her clients face to face after they have arrived!