Vidya Raja: A Mentee and Connectee Story

The Career Mentorship Program (CMP) and Connector Program matches newcomer immigrant professionals (mentees) in the Edmonton region with established professionals and local business leaders / employers (mentors) who share a similar occupational background and creates networks through real-life connections and experience.

Vidya Radja first arrived in Canada in December 2018 but prior to her immigration she was living and working in the United States as a Chemical Engineer. She lost her job in the Oil and Gas industry as a result of the downturn in the economy in 2017. She decided at that time to immigrate to Canada and now considers Edmonton as her new home.

Vidya registered with Bredin Institute of Learning on the advice of a friend and it was through Bredin that she became associated with ERIEC. This would be the starting point of her job search and related networking pursuits.

“I closely worked (and hopefully can continue to) with Sarah Tangan who has been so kind and helpful and supportive in all my career pursuits. She introduced me to a recruiter with Randstad Engineering (Geraldine Valiarayil) through the Connector Program, and who was instrumental in helping me to land my first engineering job and launching my professional career with Enbridge in Canada. I would never have been able to do this on my own without the help of Sarah and Geraldine. These two ladies will always have a special place in my heart forever!!!” Vidya exclaims.

“Sarah would always inform me of special events held by ERIEC that would be helpful to me and I always made it a point to attend them. She also was very meticulous in following up with me after my interviews and gave me the support and encouragement I always needed. This is especially important when you are alone in a new country with no one to check-up on you or enquire about your situation. It is so comforting and assuring to know that there is someone who truly cares for you and really wants you to succeed. In my case, this was Sarah and the ERIEC team!!!”

“Each one of us as newcomers come to Canada with our own different story and the different life situations that bring us here. Some people may find their jobs and professions quite quickly while some others may take a while to get there. It took me 14 months to finally get my first full time job offer in Canada. I had applied to numerous companies, networked with several people in my field and had a few interviews. My biggest challenge was overcoming the lack of Canadian experience despite having US based experience. I spent every day of these past 14 months with both hope and despair. Hope led to positivity and I knew that it was just a matter of time for me when I could eventually count myself in the list of successfully employed professionals in this country.”

“Perseverance and persistence are very important qualities to have as newcomers to any country. The job search is a tedious, frustrating and humbling experience, all at the same time. But one will come up on top with dedication, perseverance and persistence.”

“I wish all the newcomers to Edmonton the very best in their career pursuits and hope everyone finds a job of their liking very soon. And please don't forget to tap the numerous resources that ERIEC and their team have to offer.”

“ERIEC is simply the best and I don't have to think twice before saying this!!!”

If you are an immigrant professional, Permanent Resident, currently in Edmonton, and interested in ERIEC’s Mentorship and / or Connector Program, please contact the Program Assistant- Gustave Gatabazi at [email protected]
If you are an established professional or business leader looking to volunteer as a mentor or establish corporate partnerships, please contact the Program Director- Azumme Degun at [email protected]